CARBONDALE, IL – On Monday, August 21, 2017, the United States will experience a Total Solar Eclipse, the first one to cross the entire country in 99 years. The “Great American Eclipse” as it is being called, will reach its point of greatest duration just south of Carbondale, IL. The region won’t have to wait long for another chance to be at the center of another total solar eclipse. There is a second eclipse on April 8, 2024, that will cross from Mexico to Maine. And you guessed it; the path of that eclipse will be right over Carbondale.
In fact, the two eclipse paths form an intersection just south of the SIU-Carbondale campus around Cedar Lake, making it a unique location for being able to obsere and study both eclipses from the same location.
On August 21, the totality of the solar eclipse will happen at 1:21 p.m. on the SIU-C campus.
A Total Solar Eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, blocking the sun from view as casting a shadow on the Earth. If you’re in the dark part of that shadow, you’ll see a total eclipse. This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. For most of greater St. Louis area, the last total solar eclipse was in 1442.
The path will cut across Missouri from St. Joseph to Perryville, passing over towns like Hermann, Pacific, Union, Farmington, DeSoto, Festus, and Ste. Genevieve. In Illinois, the total eclipse will cross from Chester to Carbondale, which will experience the longest duration of Totality, more than 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
NASA Maps of Path of Eclipse by state: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-maps
NOTE: NEVER look directly at the sun, even during a partial eclipse. You can easily damage the retinas of your eyes. Only during the total eclipse phase it is safe to view the eclipse without eye protection. Sunglasses DO NOT provide enough protection. You MUST use special eclipse glasses. Also don’t look at the sun with cameras or telescopes without special eclipse filters.