Fairfield prepares for eclipse

WINNSBORO- The Fairfield County Museum with the assistance of Davidson College Professor Kristin Thompson, will join efforts to present ‘The Sun, The Moon and You,’ a series of events designed to inform the public for the upcoming Aug.21 total solar eclipse and to commemorate  Winnsboro’s observance of the total solar eclipse of 1900. Astronomers say this may be the last chance to view a total solar eclipse in the area until 2078.

An Astronomy exhibit is open at the Fairfield County Museum from now until Nov.10, and there will be a workshop on Aug. 5 at the First United Methodist Church to educate young people on the science and safety precautions that should be used when viewing the eclipse. Those participating in the class will create and use crafts to learn more about the eclipse. The workshop is open to the first 15 participants, who reserve their place at the museum.

Thompson will be the guest speaker for ‘The Sun and Coming Eclipse’ public lecture at 7 p.m. on Sunday Aug. 20 at Christ Central Community Center.

Finally, the main-event goes down on Monday, Aug.21 when the Museum hosts a Total Eclipse Viewing Party at Garden Street Park from 1-4 p.m. The event is free, open to the public, will allow participants to view the Eclipse safely through both solar glasses and a properly filtered telescope. The even will feature interactive exhibits.

“We were thinking we would have a low-key event but it looks like everybody is going to be here and across the Midlands,” Director of The Fairfield County Museum, Pelham Lyles said. “So we hope that folks will come to our slightly less crowded event to see what we’ve got going on in Winnsboro. and see the exhibit in the museum which tells the story of 1900, when the Eclipse was viewed from our community.”

A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon obstructs the path between the sun and the Earth, and partially blocks out the sun. A total solar eclipse is when the moon’s diameter is bigger than that of the sun’s and all direct sunlight is blocked out.

The last coast-to-coast Solar Eclipse occurred in 1918. This year’s eclipse will begin being viewed in Oregon and continue across 14 other states before reaching South Carolina.”

To reserve a place at the museum for the safety workshop, call 635-9811.