Abbeville Area Medical Center is OUT of Glasses!

Eclipse Safety & FAQs

Our area will be in the path of "totality" during the solar eclipse on August 21st!  Click on the links below to learn how to safely view the eclipse and how you can get your free eclipse glasses from AAMC!!

When is the eclipse & how long will it last?

How often do total eclipses happen?

How can I safely view the eclipse?

When is the eclipse & how long will it last?

The eclipse will happen on August 21st.  It will begin in Abbeville around 1:09pm and last until 4:03pm.  “Totality” is expected about 2:39pm and will last approximately 2 minutes 12 seconds.

How often do total eclipses happen?

The last total solar eclipse viewed from contiguous United States was on Feb. 26, 1979.  Its path passed through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. After the August 2017 eclipse, the next total solar eclipse will take place on April 8, 2024 and be visible from Texas to Maine.

How can I get eclipse glasses?

Abbeville Area Medical Center is OUT of eclipse glassses!

The City of Abbeville also has a free limited supply and the Abbeville County Libraries have them available free to their library card holders.  Many other groups and organizations have them for sale.  And don't forget about the fun event being held on the Square!  Check out the Greater Abbeville Chamber of Commerce's Facebook page for more information.

How to View the Eclipse Safely

It’s not often that we have the opportunity to experience a total solar eclipse!  It’s very important that you take the appropriate steps to protect your eyes while viewing this spectacular natural event that’s happening on August 21st.

It’s quite tempting to take a peek at the eclipse with the naked eye, but even if only a small sliver of the sun is visible your eyes can be permanently damaged by sun’s invisible ultraviolet rays.  So NO PEEKING!!  Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse can cause serious damage to your eyes – even blindness. The only time it’s safe to look directly at the eclipse without eye protection is during the period of “totality.” 

Eclipse viewing safety tips:

  • Make sure your eclipse glasses meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard.  The free eclipse glasses available from Abbeville Area Medical Center meet this standard.
  • Check your eclipse glasses before you use them - if they are scratched or damaged, do not use them. Read the safety instructions printed on the glasses, and follow them exactly.
  • Put on your eclipse glasses before looking at the sun. Do not remove the glasses while looking at the partially eclipsed sun.
  • You should never look at the partially eclipsed sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, etc. even when wearing your eclipse glasses. The concentrated solar rays could cause serious injury!
  • You can safely “take a peek” at the eclipse and remove your eclipse glasses during the period known as “totality.”  This is when the moon completely covers the sun, which will last one to two minutes.  Put your eclipse glasses back on before the sun begins to reappear.
  • Even though sunglasses, polarizing filters, smoked glass, welding helmets and other materials you may have heard or read about appear to dim the sun, the solar rays could still damage your eyes!  These are not safe for viewing the eclipse. Use only approved eclipse glasses.
  • If you don't have access to approved eye protection or would prefer to avoid looking toward the sun, consider creating a "pinhole" projector.  Click here to learn more about viewing the eclipse in this way.   

To download a sheet from NASA that will help you learn more about the eclipse and how to view it click here.