The 2024 solar eclipse experience in eastern Carolina

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – 12-year-old Jeremiah Chance has been thrilled about the solar eclipse since the last one in 2017 when he was 6 years old.

“After the one in 2017, I searched it up on Google and it said the next one was in 2024, and here we are,” Chance said.

Seven years later, with more knowledge, research, and a few steps closer to his dream of pursuing a career in meteorology, Chance was more enthusiastic than anyone to witness the solar eclipse.

“It’s 3:18 p.m. We’re now in the peak,“ Chance shared with his parents.

Every aspect of the eclipse reminded him of the wonders of our sun.

“You can see the shadows, and it looks as if the sun is going down,” Chance said.

Hundreds like chance gathered, filled with excitement, and geared up with solar eclipse glasses and telescopes.

Anticipation mounted as the crowd eagerly waited with all eyes on the sky for the celestial spectacle.

Here in the east, the solar eclipse was at its peak coverage of about 78% at 3:17 p.m.

Regina Dewitt is an associate professor teaching astronomy at ECU and is a solar eclipse traveler herself.

According to Professor Dewitt, a solar eclipse is a rare occurrence where the moon’s orbit and tilt perfectly align with the Earth’s orbit and the sun, with varying totalities depending on where you are on Earth.

Every solar eclipse is more special as more and more scientific information is learned.

“We use solar scopes. Of course, there are a lot of computer simulations to calculate when the next solar eclipse will happen and where it will happen, and there is a lot of research going into calculating solar eclipses,” Dewitt explained.

Dewitt says due to how powerful the sun’s rays are, the gear to view a solar eclipse, such as the telescope with solar filters, makes it safe for viewing by filtering out 99% of the sunlight.