Behind the scenes of SCC’s high-altitude weather balloon launch on eclipse day

By Julia Hartbarger • SCC Public Relations

A little time has passed since the Great American Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21, but the memory will always be there for myself and millions of others who were fortunate enough to witness the celestial event of a lifetime.

A total eclipse of science

Two independent natural phenomena have occurred over the past few days that will be etched in the memories, minds and hearts of people across the country and around the world. A total solar eclipse sailed out of the Pacific Ocean and started its trek above terra firma around Lincoln Beach, Oregon, about 9 a.m. PDT on Aug. 21. The eclipse was visible across parts of 14 states leaving terra firma for the Atlantic Ocean over Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina a little after 3 p.m. EDT.

Eclipse reveals glimmer of unity, and it feels good

I can admit now that by the time the day of the eclipse finally arrived, I was so tired of the hype that I just wanted it to be over. For months and months, the eclipse has been written about, talked about, planned for, and so eagerly anticipated by so many people that I was just weary of hearing about it. I was even mildly and irrationally irritated that classes would be canceled and traffic here in “the path of totality “— a phrase that could have served as the title of one of those dreadful post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd albums — would be miserable.

Eighty-six seconds of sunlessness: Eclipse viewers throng to Clingmans Dome

Expectation reigned at Clingmans Dome the morning of Aug. 21 as buses rolled in carrying the 1,325 people lucky enough to snag tickets for the solar eclipse event at the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Solar eclipse: A day with two sunrises

Packing to watch the sun disappear felt like packing for work, camping and an emergency evacuation all at once.

Solar eclipse: ‘Just wait a while, for the right day’

Covered in sweat, I could feel the slight trickle of ice water dripping down my leg.

Solar eclipse: Game of chance

It was like watching the slowest sporting event ever. Spectators with their eyes toward the sky shouted in excitement and booed with disappointment as the clouds passed over the sun.

Solar eclipse: We shall go on playing

Strange days, as Doors front man Jim Morrison famously sang, have found us.

Roller coaster in the sky: Solar eclipses inspire awe and enchantment for WCU professor

Enrique Gomez was 16 years old the first time he experienced the shadow of the moon.

Gomez, now an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Western Carolina University, is originally from Mexico. And while his family had already moved to the United States when the 1991 solar eclipse passed over Mexico City, they just so happened to be in town that summer for a visit with Gomez’s grandparents.

WNC welcomes ‘The Great American Solar Eclipse’

On Monday, Aug. 21, Western North Carolina residents and visitors will have the chance to see a rare total solar eclipse. This is the first time in 26 years that America has seen a total solar eclipse, and it is one of the few that will sweep the nation from Pacific to Atlantic coasts.

• What to do, where to go?
• Eclipse photography takes research, preparation
• Local governments plan for the worst, hope for the best
• How to prepare for the eclipse

The Smoky Mountain News has compiled an eclipse guide containing all you need to know about how to prepare for, view, photograph and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event.

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