Monday, August 21 will be unlike any other usual August day. While temperatures may be pleasantly warm, the afternoon sun lit sky in Orangeburg will turn dark for more than two minutes, starting at 2:43 p.m.

The solar eclipse will be the first in nearly a century to occur in the United States, along a path which will extend coast to coast. The campus of SC State University will have the rare opportunity to witness this spectacular event as Orangeburg falls within the path of totality.

If you are looking for an ideal location to view the solar eclipse, then certainly consider joining us at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. Learn more



While the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21 will be a view of a lifetime for millions, the event is poised to mark SC State University in the astronomy history books. The state of South Carolina only publicly supported Historically Black University will be among 70 sites across the country participating in a national research initiative with historical promise.

SC State astronomers will capture hundreds of images that will be used as part of the national project. Serving as South Carolina’s lead institution, SC State is coordinating six additional teams: Clemson University, Lander University, Coker College, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and locations stationed in the Isle of Palms and McClellanville, where the path of totality for the Continental United States will end.

The South Carolina team joins a network of citizen-scientists who will be located along the path of totality – from Oregon to South Carolina. They all will be taking digital photos of the sun’s outer gaseous atmosphere called the corona, which is not usually visible to the naked eye. The thousands of captured images will be combined to produce an over 90-minute movie of the dynamic solar corona, a historical first. The project is spearheaded by The Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse Experiment or CATE, and is funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation.

The last occurrence of a total solar eclipse to take place from coast to coast occurred in 1918, nearly a century ago.

SC State University Astronomer Dr. Don Walter 
leads a team of South Carolina scientists
whose contributions will be included in a
national scientific study of the eclipse.

“Only during a total solar eclipse can we see the faintest details of the corona. This is why scientists run all over the world wherever there is a total eclipse. People take their telescopes to locations where it can be observed because, for that fleeting few moments, people can observe things that they can never see at any other time,” said SC State Astronomer Dr. Don Walter.

Walter says the observations gathered by the 70 telescopes will help scientists to learn more about the physical properties of the corona, which is comprised of high and low-density gases that travel quickly hundreds of miles per second.

“One instrument alone would learn a little bit, but by stretching telescopes across the country and creating this continuous 90-minute movie, we will be able to see more about how the atmosphere changes. This has never been done, and we are certainly excited that SC State University plays an important role in this first-ever project,” Walter said.

Also a physics professor, Walter is the state’s lead coordinator for the national scientific study. He and Dr. Daniel Smith, professor of physics, along with alumnus Myles McKay, trained the South Carolina scientists on the equipment that will be used to capture the images. Preparation for this research project began nearly two years ago, when Walter and McKay traveled to Indonesia on a NASA-funded grant in March 2016, to observe an earlier total solar eclipse. During that trip, the two tested similar equipment that will be used Monday.

SC State’s team of scientists will set up its telescope and other equipment during the university’s Orangeburg Solar ’17 Viewing Party. The event will be held at the Oliver C. Dawson Stadium from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event is free, and gates to the stadium will open at 11 a.m.

Entertainment will be provided by the SC State University Marching 101, Sapphire Pom Squad and the SC State Cheerleaders. The partial phase of the eclipse begins at 1:14 p.m. and will peak with totality occurring for nearly three minutes at 2:43 p.m. At that point, the day’s sky will darken temporarily to night, as the moon covers the sun.

Several educational activities will be available for attendees, including a crafts area for both young and old. Vendors from the local community will also be on hand, providing information on services, including health-related, financial and home improvement; food and beverages from area restaurants and catering companies will be sold, as well as other products and items of interest.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to observe another scientific experiment that will be conducted on the campus. A group of students and faculty from The University of Alabama will be on site to launch a balloon. Similar to a weather balloon, the UA balloon will be used to gather weather data and live stream the eclipse to a website as part of the NASA Space Grant network’s Eclipse Ballooning Project. 

A solar eclipse occurs when the shadow of the moon falls on the earth. Locations in the outer regions of the shadow experience a partial eclipse, while locations in the inner darkest region of the shadow experience a total solar eclipse.


 While some form of the solar eclipse happens approximately every six months, a total solar eclipse happens less often and is only visible to a small band across the earth. The last total solar eclipse to cross the state of South Carolina occurred in 1970 and the next one will not cross South Carolina until 2052.

There are two regions of the moon’s shadow, the inner umbra and outer penumbra as shown in the photo to the left. The inner umbra is much darker than the outer penumbra. Only regions in the umbra will see the total solar eclipse.


Nationally, a thin path across the country from Oregon to South Carolina will experience totality as the moon’s shadow makes it way quickly from coast to coast in about 90 minutes. Areas outside of the totality path will experience a partial eclipse.

In Orangeburg totality will begin shortly after 2:43 pm and last for more than two minutes and twenty seconds. Both before and after this totality, we will experience the partial eclipse phases as the moon slowly moves over the sun starting after 1 p.m. and lasting until about 4 p.m. Even if the sky is cloudy, the day will turn to the night on Monday afternoon, August 21.

Specific times for the eclipse for different cities are calculated using data from NASA. These estimates are accurate within two seconds.

For Orangeburg, SC:

Start of Partial Eclipse 1:14:02 pm
Start of Total Eclipse 2:43:02 pm
End of Total Eclipse 2:45:24 pm
End of Partial Eclipse 4:07:28 pm

 *Data from the EclipseWise.



The solar eclipse, which for nearly 3 minutes, will turn the day’s sky to night, is a nearly 100-year celestial event in the making. The last occurrence a coast-to-coast solar eclipse took place was 1918. SC State University and Orangeburg will be a prime location to view this once in a lifetime event.

Monday, August 21
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Gates Open at 11 a.m.

Oliver C. Dawson Stadium
300 College Street, NE, Orangeburg, SC 29117


SC State Serves as Lead Research Institute for National Project

As South Carolina’s lead institution for the Citizen CATE national project, SC State, along with six other sites in South Carolina, will record images of the sun before and during totality. The combined images collected from the near 70 sites across the country –  from Oregon to South Carolina – will provide a 90 minute video of totality. SC State astronomer and physicist, Dr. Donald K. Walter, serves as the state’s lead scientist, coordinating teams from Clemson University, Lander University, Coker College, OCtech, and two citizen-scientist sites.

ENJOY special performances featuring:
The Marching 101
Sapphire Pom Squad
SC State Cheerleaders
And music by DJ Lord Jazz


Several special solar projection telescopes will be setup for the public to view magnified images the sun.

Solar Corona Craft
Let your creative light shine by create an artistic image of the solar corona..

Pinhole Viewer Craft
Build a colorful pinhole projection, which can be used to safely view a projection of the solar eclipse.

NASA & the EM Spectrum
This booth will provide information on the light from the Sun, both visible and invisible. Information about NASA and the agency’s activities on campus will be presented.

Skin Safety
The SC State University Health Professions Society will provide information about skin cancer, sun burns, and how to protect your skin from the sun.

Solar Energy
Students from the nuclear engineering program will provide information about alternative energy forms including solar and nuclear energy.

WATCH a balloon launch conducted by a group of University of Alabama students that will use the balloon to take video of the solar eclipse as part of a nation-wide science project led by NASA. Rising 100,000 feet in the air, high enough to see the curvature of the earth, the balloon will send live video of the eclipse to a website as part of the NASA Space Grant network’s Eclipse Ballooning Project.

Bath Fitters
Precious Treasures
Randolph Lovely Italian Ice
Gibbes Ford
Nothing But Truth Ministry
Family Health Center
CW&N Concessions
New City Fellowship
Bathesda Hemp
Stringers Sno-Kones
Delight ’N Me Sweet Treats
Follett Bookstore
SC State University Honors College
SC State University Office of Admissions



Tracing Solar ’17

Why solar eclipses are rare?

An animated view of the solar eclipse from space



Solar Safety

Viewing an eclipse is a wonderful experience, but you MUST follow some safety guidelines.

To be safe we recommend the following: 

  • NEVER look directly at the sun without a special purpose solar filter such as eclipse glasses.
  • Regular sunglasses or polarized lenses are NOT safe for viewing the sun.
  • NEVER use binoculars, camera, or telescopes to view the Sun without a special purpose solar filter covering the front lenses.
  • You can use indirect projection to view the Sun but follow the directions carefully.
  • For more safety guidelines, read “How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely.

ONLY during the short time of TOTALITY when the surface of the Sun is totally blocked by the moon you can remove your eclipse glasses and look directly at the sun’s outer corona. Remember to put the glasses back on or look away at the end of totality.

SC State will provide eclipse glasses to those attending the Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on campus, August 21, while supplies last.

See Webinar “Safe Eclipse Viewing”
By Doug Duncan, Astronomer
Fiske Planetarium, University of Colorado


– Thursday, August17, 2017 @ 6:15 PM
– Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 2:00 PM
– Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 5:00 PM

Miller F. Whittaker Library’s Smart Classroom
South Carolina State University
300 College St., N.E.
Orangeburg, SC 29117

Mrs. Doris Johnson Felder (Email)
(803) 536-8640 or
(803) 536-8645

Free eclipse glasses will be given to first 40 persons attending each show.




Orangeburg is home to two historically black colleges and universities, South Carolilina State University and Claflin University.

The city’s rich history began in 1704 when an Indian trader named George Sterling was the first to arrive in the area. Orangeburg was called “Edisto” until 1730 when the village’s name was changed to Orangeburgh, later Orangeburg, in honor of William IV, the Prince of Orange.

In 1735, a colony of 200 Swiss, German and Dutch immigrants formed a community near the banks of the North Edisto River. The General Assembly authorized the construction of a public road connecting Orangeburg and Charleston in 1737.

Orangeburg, the county seat and most populated city in Orangeburg County, showcases the great natural beauty of the area in its Edisto Memorial Gardens on the North Edisto River.

One of the Top 20 visitor attractions in South Carolina, the Gardens consist of 150 acres of azaleas, camellias, roses and other flowers spaced among giant oaks and century-old cypress trees. On display are some 4,000 plants representing at least 75 labeled varieties of roses. The site is one of only 27 test gardens in the U.S. sanctioned by All-America Rose Selections Inc.

During the summer months, children can cool off and have fun at the Edisto Memorial Gardens Spray Park and in the winter, the Children’s Garden Christmas light display is a wonderland with hundreds of thousands of lights on animated displays and in lighted trees.

Recreational facilities abound in the city, including playgrounds, City Gym and Orangeburg Area YMCA along with Hillcrest recreation facility which offers a public golf course, tennis courts, soccer fields and baseball/softball fields.



The town of Elloree is known for its many antique stores. Antiques and artifacts are also on display at the award-winning Elloree Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, the restored 1920s Springfield High School in Springfield and the Old Willow School in Norway.

Orangeburg County is known far and wide for delicious, ol’fashioned Carolina barbecue. Pull up a chair and sample some of the best from places like Sweatman’s Barbeque, Antley’s BarBQ, Duke’s Bar-B-Que and Lone Star Barbecue & Mercantile.

Hike, bike, canoe, kayak, bird watch, fish, picnic or simply relax in Orangeburg County’s picturesque natural habitat.

Take time to stop and smell the roses, azaleas and other beautiful flowers at Edisto Memorial Gardens on the North Edisto River, home to the Orangeburg Festival of Roses.

Orangeburg County is home to some of the most fun-filled festivals in the state, including the Orangeburg Festival of Roses, the Raylrode Daze Festival, the Governor’s Frog Jump and International Egg Strike, the Cotton Festival, the Eutaw Village Festival, the Harvest Festival and the Holly Hill Christmas Festival.


A haven for history buffs, Orangeburg County boasts more than three dozen listings on the National Registry of Historic Places. Fifteen sites in the county are included on the South Carolina Heritage Corridor.


Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast
1170 Fischer Street
Orangeburg, SC 29115

Phone: 803-937-4271
Fax: 888-895-3166

Fairfield Inn by Marriott
663 Citadel Road
Orangeburg, SC 29115

Phone: 803-533-0014
Fax: 803-531-0144

Days Inn
3691 St. Matthews Road
Orangeburg, SC 29118

Phone: 803-531-2590
Fax: 803-531-2829

Country Inn & Suites
731 Citadel Road
Orangeburg, SC 29118

Phone: 803-928-5300
Fax: 803-928-5301 

Hampton Inn and Suites
749 Citadel Road
Orangeburg, SC 29118

Phone: 803-531-6400
Fax: 803-937-5801

Holiday Inn Express Hotels & Suites
118 Sleep Inn Road
Orangeburg, SC 29118

Phone: 803-539-2900
Fax: 803-539-2930




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