Tri-County campuses ready to celebrate eclipse

By: Staff Report

EASLEY — Tri-County Technical College Solar Eclipse events will be held Monday from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Anderson Campus, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Pendleton Campus and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Easley Campus.

On this historic day (August 21), Tri-County students, faculty and staff will gather on all community campuses to witness the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years.

At approximately 2:37 p.m., the moon will pass in front of the Sun, casting a shadow on the planet for two-and-one-half minutes.

Anderson Campus

Southwestern Community College’s high-altitude weather balloon team will travel to the Anderson Campus from Sylva, N.C., to launch payloads on the day of the eclipse to capture images and video from the edge of space for NASA.

At approximately 1:10 p.m., the team from Southwestern Community College (SCC) will launch their payloads into the air to capture live images and video from the edge of space that will go straight to NASA’s website.

SCC is the only community college out of the 50 eclipse teams.

The college’s eclipse balloon team will launch the balloon 90,000 feet in the air to capture images and video of the Earth’s shadow during the eclipse.

This will be NASA’s first-ever attempt at live streaming an eclipse.

“We are so excited to have this opportunity and are so thankful to Tri-County Technical College for letting us launch on their campus,” said Jesse Moore, SCC’s high-altitude weather balloon team leader.

To watch the live-stream, visit To see SCC’s video and images, scroll down on the right side of the screen and look for “SCC Mountain Flyers.”

The location of the launch may change due to weather patterns or other unforeseen circumstances, but SCC’s eclipse team will have their ground station at Tri-County regardless.

Representatives from SCC will be on hand to answer questions during the event.

Pendleton and Easley Campuses

Tri-County’s Student Development and Science Departments will host Solar Eclipse parties at the Pendleton and Easley campuses from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Students will receive free eclipse glasses and will be able to chat with Science faculty about the significance of the solar eclipse.

Tri-County is conveniently located almost in the center of the path of totality, said physics instructor Donny Winkler. The eclipse should begin with first contact at approximately 1:08 p.m. as the moon begins to move between the Earth and the sun and last until final contact at approximately 4:02 p.m.

“The main event will begin at 2:37 and oddly will last 2 minutes and 37 seconds,” said Winkler, adding that “folks in SC will be able to view the corona, a wispy, glowing atmosphere that surrounds the sun.”

Astronomy instructor Daniel Thorpe will be available for the interviews at the Pendleton Campus on the day of the eclipse.

Below is a list of activities for the Pendleton Campus, Fulp Plaza:

Information Tent

NASA Handouts

Map of Eclipse

“Ask an expert” (Astronomy instructor Daniel Thorpe from Science Department)

Video Tent (Videos will loop all day)

Science instructors Donny Winkler and Daniel Thorpe explain what will happen at TCTC during eclipse

American Astronomical Association

Countdown Clock to FULL TOTALITY (at 2:37 p.m.)

Food & Fun

Photo Dry Erase Boards

Solar Oven S’more’s

Make your own pinhole camera

Eclipse glasses


Staff Report