The United States is going to experience the largest solar eclipse of the century on Monday, August 21, and we want you to be prepared. Four states in ERIE’s footprint are included in the solar eclipse path of totality: Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.
The path of totality is a line about 70 miles wide that will cross the U.S. from West to East. The first point begins in Lincoln Beach, Oregon, at 9:05 a.m. PDT and for 90 minutes, crosses through Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and North and South Carolina.
Here are some of the events taking place in the four states included in ERIE’s footprint. Plan ahead so you’re not in the dark…before it’s dark.
Illinois - The best place in Illinois to view the eclipse is the southern city Carbondale. There sun will be completely covered by the moon for about two minutes and 35 seconds. There’s about a 75-mile area around Carbondale that you’ll still be able to see the full eclipse. If you’re traveling to Carbondale, Southern Illinois University will have a watch party on their campus.
Kentucky - Hopkinsville, Kentucky, is the official “point of the greatest eclipse” when the sun will be covered for nearly 3 minutes. The town has even coined the nickname “Eclipseville” for this rare event. The town has been planning and taking reservations for this event for years. There are several festivals and events happening leading up to the eclipse. The town is also expecting officials from NASA and the director of the Vatican’s Observatory to attend.
Tennessee - To see the eclipse in Tennessee, the middle of the state is best. And many people are gravitating to Nashville. The city is the largest U.S. city in the eclipse’s path and it’s preparing for extra visitors the weekend leading up to the big event.
North Carolina - If you live in or near Western North Carolina, you will see a total eclipse beginning at 2:33 p.m. ET. Although there isn’t a major U.S. city in the eclipse’s path, many smaller cities and towns have eclipse-related events planned. This includes Franklin, North Carolina, where the city will host a downtown block party for eclipse viewers.
If you don’t live in one of the states mentioned above, you can still find out when to see the eclipse and how much of the sun will be blocked. Simply enter your city or ZIP code and the calculator will let you know when to head outside and view the eclipse.
Read about tips for viewing the eclipse and safety concerns around fake glasses in this related blog post.