MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A rare “ring of fire” eclipse of the sun will cut across the United States on Saturday. While it’s not a traditional eclipse, which would temporarily block out the sun, spectators will see what appears to be a bright ring as the moon aligns with Earth and the sun.
Areas of the West Coast will see more from the eclipse; however, people in the Charleston area will see about 45% of the sun covered during the afternoon hours.
The solar eclipse will begin at 11:53 a.m. and comes to an end at 2:52 p.m. Maximum view for those in the Lowcountry will be around 1:22 p.m.
The entire eclipse — from the moment the moon starts to obscure the sun until it’s back to normal — is 2 1/2 to three hours at any given spot. The ring of fire portion lasts from three to five minutes, depending on location.
Saturday’s path really includes Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas in the U.S., with a sliver of California, Arizona and Colorado. Much of the rest of the Western Hemisphere gets a partial eclipse.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed that skies will clear enough in the afternoon to see the Annular Solar Eclipse on Saturday,” said Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Rob Fowler. “If we do get a good look, best time is 1:22 p.m.”
You should only view the eclipse using special solar glasses.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.