ROANOKE, Vir. (WDBJ7) -
1. THIS IS A RARE EVENT
This will be the first total eclipse seen in the contiguous U.S. since 1970 and the first total eclipse to be seen from coast to coast since 1917. It will enter the U.S. through central Oregon then exit through South Carolina. The next total eclipse won’t occur in the U.S. until April 2024 and the next total eclipse won’t touch Virginia until May 2078.
2. VIRGINIA WILL SEE A PARTIAL ECLIPSE
Much of our area will only experience a 90% partial eclipse. This means that it won’t create complete daytime darkness, but it will lead the sky into looking like twilight with an array of dark hues of colors if the skies are clear. If you would like to see 100% totality, you will have to travel roughly 280 miles from Roanoke or a little under 4.5 hours. If you do make the trip there, get there in plenty of time ahead of the event. There is bound to be plenty of traffic the day of the eclipse and you don't want to be stuck in traffic while it's happening!
3. WHEN THE ECLIPSE WILL BE
The partial solar eclipse will last 2 hours, 48 minutes, 58 seconds in Roanoke.
1:12:39 p.m. EDT, eclipse begins
2:40:09 p.m. EDT, maximum eclipse
4:01:37 p.m. EDT, eclipse ends
4. WEAR THOSE GLASSES
It is important to know that at NO POINT is it safe to remove your eclipse glasses during a partial eclipse. Only in areas that see the maximum total eclipse and during the peak eclipse is it safe to remove glasses (and that is a fairly short window). There are a large number of vendors in the local area that are selling ISO-complaint safe eclipse glasses. It should be noted that certain places may not have glasses in stock when you get there, so be sure to keep trying before it’s too late! Here are places you can find them:
Toys “R” Us
Free eclipse glasses are also being handed out for free at local libraries where supplies last.
5. PARTIAL ECLIPSE IS NOTHING LIKE A TOTAL ECLIPSE
There is a very large difference between the two. In fact, there is a massive difference even between a 99% partial eclipse to a 100% total eclipse. One way of looking at it is that it’s basically the difference between turning a light on or off. If skies are clear, you will be able to see the night stars during a total eclipse. If you have the opportunity to go see the total eclipse, do it!