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Drone Captures 360-Degree Sunrise, Sunset from Total Solar Eclipse on Monday in Lexington, S.C.

Video by Matt Moore

Ken Ketchie, publisher of High Country Press, enjoyed the solar eclipse from the backyard of his friend Doug Moore’s house in Lexington, S.C., a few miles from the center of the path of totality. 

Matt Moore is the son of Doug Moore, a software engineer from Chicago and co-founder at Anarchist, a startup creating immersive software for a new age. Doug is a graduate of Appalachian State University. Matt flew down to visit his parents during the solar eclipse. Moore brought his DJI Mavic Pro, a quadcopter equipped with a camera.

He programmed the drone to fly in a circle 100 meters above the backyard to film the 360-degree sunset and sunrise caused by the eclipse. While the drone was doing its work, Matt was busy photographing the eclipse and the interesting shadow designs caused by the eclipse. He also produced footage of the shadow bands referred to as shadow snakes that appear on surfaces right before and after the moon totally blocks out the sun. You can see from the video above how fast dark came as the total eclipse moved over the area.

You can see Lake Murray and Lexington in the video. The location here was just a few miles from the center line of the eclipse’s path and the totality lasted for 2 minutes 30 seconds.

“A couple minutes before the eclipse, I just started recording. The video is a little out of focus, but most of it’s pretty cool,” Moore said. “I let it record during the eclipse to see some of the things you can’t see on the ground … at the 1:20 minute mark you can see people shooting fireworks over the lake and right before the total eclipse, you can see the downtown street lights turning on. It’s pretty neat.” 

Normally a three-hour drive, Ketchie’s trip home took about 5 hours due to the traffic exiting the path of totality.

Photos by Ken Ketchie:

About half an hour before and after the eclipse, the shadows from trees all had a moon shaped curve to them. This is a picture of a driveway with the crescent shadows from the leaves above.


The bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 77, leaving Columbia, S.C., after the eclipse.
Doug Moore takes a look at the eclipse from his backyard in Lexington, S.C. Photo by Ken Ketchie