Total Eclipse of the Sun – Aug. 21, 2017

It’s the first total solar eclipse over the United States’ mainland since 1979 and the eclipse will reach its point of greatest durationeclipse (161x121) — about two minutes and 40 seconds — near Giant City State Park and Makanda, IL. For people who want to be right on the point of greatest duration, there is an event planned by the Astronomical Association of Southern Illinois at Giant City State Park.

A few of the area lodging facilities have already taken room bookings for the event.

Blue Sky Vineyards in Makanda is directly in the eclipse’s centerline. The bed and breakfast’s marketing director, Brandy Nance, said it is getting interest from all over about accommodations.

“I mean all over the state,” Nance said. “We’ve had some from China that have called in. They’re from everywhere.”

Scientists from around the world are interested too. SIU has been coordinating with NASA, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and other universities.

The similar eclipse will happen again, but not until April 8, 2024.