#646 – Will you be in the dark on August 21, 2017?

Posted on | The Agurban

Will you be in the dark on August 21, 2017?

In case you haven’t heard, there will be a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. The Great American Eclipse will traverse the United States from northwest to southeast in the span of 90 minutes, traveling from Oregon through the Midwest and on through South Carolina. The “Path of Totality”, where the moon’s shadow completely blocks the sun, literally turning day into night completely with dropping temperatures and visible stars, is only about 75 miles wide.

Nowhere will the length of total darkness be as long, anywhere along the eclipse path, as it will be near Makanda, Illinois, a small village (pop. 544) just south of Carbondale, home of Southern Illinois University (SIU). Totality will last two minutes and 40 seconds.

So, what do you do when you are ground zero for a total solar eclipse? You plan a party. Thousands of professional and amateur astronomers will use the area as their eclipse-experience base, thanks to SIU, which is planning a series of special events, exhibitions, and viewings. NASA will be webcasting the event life from SIU’s campus. In addition, civic leaders and tourism officials across southern Illinois are expecting huge crowds for the eclipse and the days leading up to the event. In fact, SIU’s Internim Chancellor Brad Colwell is expecting 30,000 to 50,000 visitors on campus during the eclipse, to not only take part in the viewing, but also to experience a variety of activities, some scientific and some fun.

When asked how many people will be in southern Illinois for the eclipse, SIU’s Bob Baer, co-chair of the university’s eclipse planning committee, stated, “I am expecting it is going to be in the millions.”

From Agracel’s home office in Effingham, Illinois, 130 miles north of Makanda, we can attest that hotels in our area are completely booked for the days surrounding the eclipse.

We hope you have a chance to experience some part of the Great American Eclipse. But if you miss it this time, believe it or not, there will be another total solar eclipse in the same region of southern Illinois on April 8, 2024. Start planning.

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