Checking Out The Eclipse In Georgia? Here’s What You Need To Know

Make sure not to look at the sun during an eclipse without the proper protection.
Make sure not to look at the sun during an eclipse without the proper protection.
Credit Ariel Schalit / Associated Press
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On Aug. 21,  a solar eclipse is crossing North America. Some are calling it the Great American Eclipse, and Georgia is one of the states that the eclipse’s path of totality, a 70-mile-wide ribbon, will cross, according to NASA.

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While metro Atlanta itself is not in the path of totality, the northeastern tip of the state, including Union and Rabun counties, is. Still, most cities in the metro area will see at least 95 percent or more of a partial eclipse.

To help you plan your eclipse-viewing experience, WABE has compiled all the information you’ll need, plus a ton of fun facts.

Where Can You Watch?

Georgia Tech and Georgia State are both planning watch events. Each will have free glasses and a live streaming of the eclipse (at spots in the path of totality).

If you’re looking to get outdoors, the Chattahoochee Nature Center, which will have 98 percent eclipse visibility, will be open and offering eclipse glasses while supplies last.

For more information on where to go to view the eclipse, click here.

How Long Will It Last?

Across Georgia the eclipse will begin in the 1 p.m. hour and end by the 4 p.m. hour, reaching peak partial eclipse or totality in the 2 p.m. hour. The exact times for each milestone will vary by location.

Check out the chart below for specifics.

What Will It Look Like?

In Atlanta, the eclipse will be partial, meaning you’ll see a crescent sun.

“It’s going to be a little bit darker than normal, but it’s still bright enough to hurt your eyes, so don’t look at it with your naked eye,” Stephen Ramsden, the founder of the Atlanta-based Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, told WABE.

The path of totality will cross the northeastern part of Georgia, and it’s not too late to plan a day trip to Vogel State Park, Black Rock Mountain State Park, or others that are in the path of totality. Just be prepared for traffic.

What Do You Need?

By all accounts, the eclipse should be awe-inspiring, but don’t put your eyes at risk. Looking directly at the eclipse should only be done with proper lenses or filters.

But looking straight at it isn’t your only option. Click here to find out where to get eclipse glasses and how to make viewers for the big day

Other Eclipses?

Another Great American eclipse darkened U.S. skies nearly 100 years ago. News coverage of that event was similar (and very different) to coverage the upcoming eclipse. The science was a little off, but all-in-all the excitement seemed as palpable as it is now.

Some highlights? An astronomy professor asked the public for sketches, an ode to Christopher Columbus and much more.

Find out more here.

What About Traveling?

The likelihood of a cloudy day in August in Atlanta is higher than most eclipse watchers would like. If you don’t want to take the chance of obstruction, higher elevations are your best bets. Towns and cities in the path of totality like Blairsville, a tiny mountain town in northeastern Georgia, are expecting thousands of people to visit for the eclipse.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning to send more HERO trucks to the northeastern part of the state to help handle the influx there. GDOT also expects heavier traffic in metro Atlanta, especially north of Interstate 20.

For more information, click here.

To learn more about the 2017 eclipse, check out the articles below:

Atlanta Scientists Get Psyched For Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse

Georgia’s Electricity Providers Prepare For Eclipse

Upcoming Solar Eclipse Leads To School Closing Rumors

How Will Georgia’s Animals Respond To The Solar Eclipse?

Eclipse Brings Tourism Boost For Georgia’s Mountains

Post Office To Mark Eclipse With First-Of-Its-Kind Stamp