This article by Elizabeth LaFleur of the Greenville News and the USA TODAY Network recently ran in


“There is no hyperbole here. This is going to be an extraordinary phenomenon.”

It’s hard not to get excited about the Upstate’s position along the path of August’s impending solar eclipse when Jim Melvin talks about it.

Melvin, the public information director for Clemson’s College of Science, says, for Clemson’s team of astronomers, “this is our National Championship game.”

Greenville OnlineA total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the sun, something that hasn’t been visible in the mainland U.S. since 1979, according to our coverage partners with the USA TODAY Network. This event is even more rare as the totality of the eclipse will cross the entire U.S. mainland on Aug. 21 for the first time since 1918.

According to Melvin, the totality will be wider in the Upstate than anywhere else in the country, making it a top-tier destination for anyone who wants to experience the peak of such a rare event. Clemson already is preparing to welcome such sky-gazers to campus.

Melvin said the school is working on planning a “mega-event” that is expected to draw thousands of people to the university on a day that would typically be busy with convocations and other events for new students on campus.

The 2017 total solar eclipse will cross the Upstate between 1:07 and 4:02 p.m. on Aug. 21 with the totality occurring at 2:37 p.m.

Dean Regas of The Cincinnati Enquirer contributed