Upcoming eclipse drawing local interest - Republic-Times | News

Upcoming eclipse drawing local interest

By on August 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm

The date of the total solar eclipse, Aug. 21, is fast approaching, as Monroe County residents scramble to find safety glasses and make plans for viewing the event.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s orbit aligns between the sun and the earth, creating a darkness similar to nighttime. Totality will occur at 1:17 p.m. in Monroe County.

This will be the first total solar eclipse spanning the nation since 1918, and first such eclipse to shadow the St. Louis area since the 1400s. All of Monroe County will be in the path of totality for this eclipse.

Southern Illinois will again be in the path of a total solar eclipse in 2024, although just the southern tip of Monroe County will be in the path of totality.

Here is an update on eclipse viewing events planned for this area:

Planning a “Solarbration” for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, the city of Waterloo and Explore Waterloo merchants group recently passed out a limited supply of safety viewing glasses, which had all but sold out by Tuesday.

About 2,000 glasses will still be available to those who attend the Aug. 21 event. Waterloo will enjoy two minutes and 10 seconds of the maximum two minutes and 40 seconds of totality.

The event should draw a crowd from across the country, as Waterloo made the Expedia Viewfinder travel blog’s national listing of “29 epic places to witness the 2017 solar eclipse” — one of just three towns in Illinois along with Carbondale and Makanda. Expedia put Waterloo on the list because of the inclusion of vendors, live music and artisan stands in its day-long event.

“After the sky darkens and the sunlight reemerges, praise those rays as you take a stroll around the historic district before road tripping home,” the website states. For the Expedia article, click here.

Sarah Deutch, Waterloo community relations coordinator, said she was shocked to see Waterloo as part of the Expedia article.

“It’s pretty cool and it might be why I’ve been getting calls from people from all over the country…>>>

Read the rest of this story in the August 9 issue of the Republic-Times.

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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years. email:sean@republictimes.net