There are lots of places to view the upcoming solar eclipse in safe ways across North Carolina. Here's a few of them.

For the first time in nearly seven years, a total solar eclipse is once again coming through North America! The eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, which gives North Carolina residents time to prepare for the festivities. Many viewing parties are scheduled throughout the state on the day of the celestial phenomenon, so let’s take a look at these places you can enjoy the solar eclipse in North Carolina.

What is a solar eclipse?

For those who don’t know, a solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. According to NASA this year’s total solar eclipse will be the last one to go through the United States until 2044. While North Carolina won’t be in the “path of totality” (any location where the moon completely covers the face of the sun), the Tar Heel state will still be able to enjoy a breathtaking partial eclipse around 2:00 that afternoon.

In an interview with Public Radio East, Dr. Patrick Treuthardt of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences explained what NC sky-watchers could expect to see on April 8. “The moon is going to obscure about 75% of the disk of the sun, so it’s going to look like a large bite has been taken out of the sun by the moon.”

Safety measures

Dr. Treuthardt also stressed the importance of proper safety precautions for the eclipse, urging everyone to come equipped with special eclipse-friendly eyewear. It’s very dangerous to look at the sun for an extended period of time because it can burn your retina,” he said, “so you do want to be careful and you do want to make sure that these eclipse glasses that you get are good.”

NASA is also urging people to be safe and responsible while viewing the eclipse. Reminder: eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses. You can find safe and effective solar viewers and filters here.

Where to watch the eclipse in North Carolina

As expected, many locations throughout North Carolina are holding safe solar eclipse viewing parties that day. Here are a few that you and the family can go to safely enjoy one of nature’s most thrilling spectacles:

  • Fayetteville State University Planetarium - Fayetteville

    Planetarium

    With ten 4K projectors on a cozy 30 foot dome, we put more pixels per square inch on our dome than any other planetarium - in the world! This means crisp, round stars and a beautiful, dark night sky. Join us for an adventure that is out of this world (and out of the galaxy).

    FSU will have several telescopes available to view the eclipse from 2:00 – 4:30, including their brand new 70 mm solar H-alpha telescope! This free event is for the entire community. There will be a limited number of Eclipse Glasses for sale during the event.

  • North Carolina State University - Raleigh

    NC State University Solar Eclipse viewing party 2024

    NC State is holding a viewing party at the Witherspoon Student Center in Raleigh on April 8. Solar eclipse glasses will be provided if you don’t have your own pair. This event is free and open to the public.

  • Discovery Place Science Museum - Charlotte

    Discovery Place Science in Charlotte NC is celebrating the solar eclipse for an entire week before it actually passes through. The week of workshops and fun activities will start April 1 and end on the 8th with a viewing atop the museum’s parking deck. The museum will also feature a live stream of the eclipse’s totality in their IMAX theatre.

  • Duraleigh Road Community Library - Raleigh

    Solar Eclipse Viewing Party

    An eclipse is coming to Raleigh! On Monday April 8th we can view an 80% solar eclipse. All ages, adults and youth, are invited to join us for eclipse trivia, eclipse fun, and a viewing of the rare event! Eclipse glasses will be provided. Registration is requested. An eclipse is coming to Raleigh!

    All ages, adults and youth, are invited to join the Wake County government April 8 at the Duraleigh Road Community Library. There will be eclipse trivia, eclipse fun, and a viewing of the rare event! Eclipse glasses will be provided. Registration is requested.

  • North Carolina Science Festival - Statewide

    The North Carolina Science Festival is holding a statewide Star Party across many counties throughout the Tar Heel state. These events will run between April 5-8, with many educational opportunities for those who wish to learn more about the cosmos. Click here to find a Star Party close to you.

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