(Columbia, SC) WLTX Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy has been named an Eclipse Subject Matter Expert by NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

On Monday, August 21, millions of people will witness the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous U.S. in 38 years. The path of totality crosses 14 states as it begins in Oregon and ends in South Carolina.

“This eclipse will be a once in a lifetime event for most people,” said Gandy. “I’m excited to help NASA explain the science behind the event and how to best stay safe while viewing. You can see the sun and the eclipse with special eclipse glasses. NEVER look directly at the sun without appropriate eyewear. Regular sunglasses are not safe to view the eclipse. When the eclipse is in totality, it will be safe to view without the glasses.”

As a part of the scientific observations, Gandy will be reporting live from Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo to observe how animals react to the event.

WLTX will have extensive coverage beginning at 4:30am with News 19 This Morning. Eclipse coverage throughout the day will utilize live cameras at The South Carolina State Fairgrounds, Columbia Fireflies Stadium, Lake Murray, and Riverbanks Zoo as well as the WLTX front lawn and various other locations throughout the Midlands.

The WLTX technical Department will provide spectacular views of the eclipse which will begin at 1:13:11pm. Totality will last two minutes and thirty-one seconds and will begin at 2:41:54pm. The eclipse will end in Columbia at 4:06:24pm.