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Physics and Astronomy

Solar corona from Svalbard total eclipse 2015

Total Solar Eclipse in Columbia

Totality will be visible at 2:41 pm on August 21, 2017.

The total solar eclipse of 2017 will be a remarkable event, with the path of totality crossing from Oregon to South Carolina.  As the moon moves into perfect alignment with the sun, the darkest part of the moon's shadow (the umbra) will pass over Columbia, SC for about 2 and a half minutes, starting at 2:41pm on August 21, 2017.  The sky will rapidly turn darker than twilight, bright stars and planets will become visible, and viewers will see the wispy and faint solar corona  -- normally hidden by the bright glare of the sun. 

eclipse path

The City of Columbia will be an excellent place to experience the eclipse.  Organizations all across the South Carolina Midlands will be hosting special events throughout the weekend leading up to the Monday afternoon eclipse.  To learn more about the "Total Eclipse Weekend" in Columbia, go to and visit the events list.  Check back often, as new events will continue to be posted right up until the eclipse event itself.  See below for a flyer and info sheet about the eclipse weekend events.

Eclipse weekend events the USC campus will include:

On Eclipse day, Mon, Aug 21:

  • Weather balloon launch for atmospheric science by Dr. April Hiscox
  • Solar telescope viewing stations around campus
  • Live streaming of the NASA TV eclipse feed
  • Presentations on the science and history of eclipses.

Faculty, staff and students at USC are excited to share the eclipse with the Columbia community and the many visitors who will be coming to the midlands this August.   For inquiries about eclipse education events, community outreach activities, and media availability, please contact these USC Eclipse Experts:


Dr. Varsha Kulkarni, Astrophysicist

Professor, Physics & Astronomy

Expertise: Eclipse science, astronomical observations

Physics & Astronomy Department eclipse coordinator

803-777-6293 ;


Dr. Steven Rodney, Astrophysicist

Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy

Expertise: Eclipse science, astronomical observations

Student Eclipse Outreach coordinator

803-777-2599 ;


Dr. David Tedeschi, Physicist

Professor, Physics & Astronomy

Expertise: Eclipse science, physics & astronomy education

803-777-1132 ;


Dr. Allison Marsh, Historian

Associate Professor, Department of History

Director of the Public History Program

Expertise: Eclipses and the history of science

(803) 777-0041 ;


Dr. Michael Weisenburg, Reference & Instruction Librarian

Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Expertise: Eclipses in myth, ritual and literature across western culture

The USC Robert Ariail special collection of historical astronomy texts, telescopes and artifacts

803-777-2721 ; 


Dr. Christian Cicimurri, Curator of Natural Science

McKissick Museum of the USC College of Arts and Sciences

Expertise: Eclipse science, natural history, USC museum collections

803-777-2823 ;


Dr. April Hiscox, Meteorology and Atmospheric Science

Associate Professor, Department of Geography

Expertise: Atmospheric effects, balloon-born and lidar measurements

(803) 777-6604 ;


Dr. Mark Cooper, Film and Media Studies

Professor and Director of the Film and Media Studies Program

Expertise:  Eclipses on the "Silver Screen"

(803) 576-5991 ;


Prof. Denise McGill, Journalism and Mass Communications 

Associate Professor, College of Information and Communications

Expertise: Photography, video and visual media

(803) 777-8707 ;



More resources for eclipse information are available at: 

The NASA Eclipse Site

Eclipse Info pages from eclipse chaser Fred Espenak 




PDF icon Eclipse Weekend Flyer PDF icon Eclipse Weekend Info Sheet (brief)