Carbondale/Makanda is the centerline of the upcoming April 8, 2024 solar eclipse. This is the second solar eclipse for the region, following the one 7 years ago in Aug. of 2017.  The total solar eclipse will occur at 1:59 p.m. CST on April 8, 2024 with a totality of more than 4 minutes.   It will be like nighttime with bright stars visible in the sky and street lights lit. The black moon will be rimmed by the flares of the sun.

Thousands of people are expected in and around Southernmost Illinois to view the eclipse.

So what exactly is a solar eclipse? A solar eclipse is a lineup of the Sun, Moon, and Earth and only happens at New Moon.  Any given spot on Earth will see a total eclipse of the Sun once every 360 years or so.  And to have that occur in the same spot within 7 years is a very incredible event! The 2017 total solar eclipse was the first total solar eclipse in the Continental U.S. in 38 years. There will not be another total solar eclipse in the Continental United States again until 2045 and then in 2078. And not another total solar eclipse in Illinois until September 14, 2099.  Always remember the rule for using eye protection during an eclipse: If there’s ANY bright part of the Sun showing, then you have to use your eclipse glasses to watch the event.

Eclipse Day at SIU and Carbondale:  Southern Illinois Crossroads Eclipse Festival

Enjoy a weekend of events leading up to the eclipse, see schedule here

SIU will feature a variety of events on campus the day of the eclipse, with the main one being a public viewing at the football stadium. Mat Kaplan, host and producer of Planetary Radio, which airs on 150 stations and online, will serve as host and guide. There also will be indoor viewing, talks and presentations, an arts and crafts fair, and an area dedicated to eclipse citizen science. We provide a unique family friendly experience rich with activities centered on the arts and sciences.    2024 total solar eclipse and will experience 4minutes and 9 seconds of totality in the shadow of the Moon. 

A total solar eclipse is seen above the Bald Knob Cross of Peace Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in Alto Pass, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Bald Knob Cross Eclipse Day Viewing with a 360-degree, unobstructed viewing location for this rare event.  Get your tickets early! There has been a great amount of interest shown in this “spot on” location for the best viewing of this rare eclipse.  With 2 ticket options, a serious and a casual viewer,  Bald Knob Cross will be a very popular spot for viewing this phenomenon.

Gates will open at 8 am. Plan on arriving by 10 am. Partial Eclipse should begin around 11:30 am.  Tickets will include eclipse glasses and a T-shirt.

Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center (Makanda, IL) has a 4 day package with lodging, meals and activities:  APRIL 6-9, 2024

Located in the path of totality for the 2024 Solar Eclipse, Touch of Nature is the perfect location to turn the eclipse into a fun filled experience. The second of two once in a lifetime eclipses will be taking place in Southern Illinois and Touch of Nature is in one of the most ideal spaces for the viewing of this event. For nearly 4 minutes and 9 seconds, the sun will be completely blacked out in the middle of the day!

The staff, along with other amateur and professional astronomers, will be on hand to help everyone in attendance enjoy this event. Registration is open now. 

The extended weekend price includes lodging, all activities and all meals on Saturday/Sunday/Monday, educational sessions, and prime eclipse viewing space.   Live streaming of the eclipse will be available should we experience inclement weather the day of the eclipse. 

Additional packages are available at Camp Ondessonk, Ozark, IL Whether you stay for the entire weekend, or just for the day.  Packages can include camp lodging surrounded by the forest, meals and activities, starting on Saturday through Monday.

Experience the Eclipse from a canoe in a secluded wetland! 

The Cache River is in the path of totality for the Great American Eclipse! Observers there will see (appx.) 2 minutes 28 seconds of totality! Come join us for a Cache River Canoe Solar Eclipse Tour like no other! We will set out on the swamp in the early morning- the perfect time to witness dozens of warblers, great blue herons, ospreys, cormorants, egrets, kingfishers, and eagles. Southern Illinois is at the apex of the area of longest duration for viewing the eclipse which will occur at 12:42 pm on the Cache River. What better way to experience it by canoeing through an ancient cypress swamp! During the tour a presentation will be given from our professional naturalist guides about solar cycles and lunar eclipses. Additionally, we will share stories from around the world pertaining to beliefs and customs surrounding these solar and lunar events. Followed by a catered meal of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches or veggie option,. The trip will be for the duration of 4-5 miles. 

Southernmost Illinois welcomes all visitors to visit Shawnee Forest Country and the surrounding Southern Illinois area for the eclipse. Visit the unique shops in downtown Makanda and Carbondale.  Enjoy nature and the many rock formations at nearby Giant City State Park and Shawnee National Forest.  Have dinner at the ever popular Giant City Lodge.  Stay at many of the nearby cabins or bed and breakfasts.  Enjoy the Southern Illinois Wineries Along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail.

Categories: Uncategorized


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: