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Prepare Now for the Event of a Lifetime! Total Solar Eclipse 2017

June 21, 2017

Did you catch the last total solar eclipse to cross America? Probably not since it’s been 99 years!

Now’s your chance! This year, for 2 minutes on August 21, certain areas of 14 states will experience complete darkness in the middle of the day because of the total solar eclipse.

So, prepare now — a total solar eclipse will probably only happen once in your lifetime, and it’s not something you want to miss!

About the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

People all over the nation have been planning for months — making travel plans and reserving hotels — to ensure they get the best view of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

When and Where the Eclipse Will Be Most Visible

Monday, August 21, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The projected path of the eclipse will run diagonally through the center of the United States starting in Northern Oregon, crossing through Nebraska, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, and making it’s most southern appearance in South Carolina. Although this is the projected path of the eclipse, it may be visible from other areas depending on weather and visibility during that particular time of day.

A map of the United States showing the path of totality for the total solar eclipse.
Image courtesy of NASA: eclipse2017.nasa.gov

The eclipse is expected to be visible in certain states at different times. The cities below will experience complete darkness when the eclipse passes their path. Remember, you don’t have to be in the direct path of the eclipse to catch a glimpse — many other cities and states will see a partial eclipse.

Total Eclipse Schedule
  Eclipse Begins Totality Begins Totality Ends Eclipse Ends Time Zone
Madras, Oregon 9:06 a.m. 10:19 a.m. 10:21 a.m. 11:41 a.m. PDT
Idaho Falls, Idaho 10:15 a.m. 11:33 a.m. 11:34 a.m. 12:58 p.m. MDT
Casper, Wyoming 10:22 a.m. 11:42 a.m. 11:45 a.m. 1:09 p.m. MDT
Lincoln, Nebraska 11:37 a.m. 1:02 p.m. 1:04 p.m. 2:29 p.m. CDT
Jefferson City, Missouri 11:46 a.m. 1:13 p.m. 1:15 p.m. 2:41 p.m. CDT
Carbondale, Illinois 11:52 a.m. 1:20 p.m. 1:22 p.m. 2:47 p.m. CDT
Paducah, Kentucky 11:54 a.m. 1:22 p.m. 1:24 p.m. 2:49 p.m. CDT
Nashville, Tennessee 11:58 a.m. 1:27 p.m. 1:29 p.m. 2:54 p.m. CDT
Clayton, GA 1:06 p.m. 2:35 p.m. 2:38 p.m. 4:01 p.m. EDT
Columbia, South Carolina 1:13 p.m. 2:41 p.m. 2:44 p.m. 4:06 p.m. EDT

Safety First

It’s never safe to look directly at the sun without the appropriate eye protection. Safety is most important when you’re preparing to view the solar eclipse. Just because the sun will be hidden by the moon doesn’t mean you’re safe from eye damage. Two of the most popular ways to view an eclipse is by using a filter — such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers — or projecting the image of the sun onto screen.

Solar Eclipse Festival at Tallulah Gorge State Park

Because the projected path of the eclipse is expected to darken a part of North Georgia, Georgia State Parks is hosting a Solar Eclipse Festival at Tallulah Gorge State Park in northeast Georgia.

August 21, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

$5 for parking

Entry into the park and event is free. The festival will take place in the helicopter field next to the campground.

Schools and teachers are encouraged to bring their students for prime viewing. There will be stations where students and visitors can build viewing devices and participate in activities while waiting in anticipation. Experts will be at the festival to answer all of your questions about the eclipse.

Check out other outdoor adventures happening at Tallulah Gorge State Park throughout the year, as well as park hours, local accommodations, and other information about the park.

Watch NASA’s “Two Months to the Eclipse” Press Conference – June 21, 2017

Ready to learn more about the eclipse and how to prepare? Check in this afternoon with NASA, along with other federal agencies and science organizations, for a 2-hour, live “Two Months to the Eclipse” press conference. Watch to learn about:

  • Ways to view the eclipse through the eyes of NASA
  • Safety tips for viewing the eclipse
  • What causes an eclipse and why it should matter to you
  • Different views from different parts of the country
  • Research opportunities of the Sun, Moon, and stars

The press conference is scheduled from 1pm to 3:30pm. Check your local stations for NASA TV or stream it online at www.nasa.gov. Follow along on Twitter (@NASASun) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/NASASunScience).

Even if you can’t travel to the prime viewing areas, step outside and check out the sky. Who knows — your skies might get a little darker for 2 minutes on August 21, and you might get a glimpse of one of the biggest solar events of the century!

Chelsea Stephens

About the Author

Chelsea Stephens is the Marketing & Training Lead for Digital Services Georgia. A Georgia native herself, Chelsea enjoys writing on topics that citizens and visitors of Georgia can enjoy and learn from. 

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