Total Eclipse in the Heartland Total Eclipse in the Heartland

Total Eclipse in the Heartland

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Solar EclipsePlan to experience one of nature’s most unique occurrences Aug. 21 when a total solar eclipse will stretch across the country, reaching its point of greatest duration in southern Illinois just south of Carbondale. Even more unique, a second total solar eclipse April 8, 2024, will be visible from the same location.

The total eclipse means the moon completely blot out the sun as it makes its orbit, making it look like nighttime in the middle of the afternoon. The eclipse will last for about 2.5 minutes at peak viewing locations, including Carbondale, Chester and Murphysboro. At locations slightly farther out of its direct path, such as Waterloo, Harrisburg and Metropolis, it will be visible for a minute or two.

To celebrate the phenomenon, the main campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale will hold several events on eclipse day, including a public viewing at the football stadium, tailgating, indoor viewing, presentations and more. You can also head to Giant City State Park, just south of campus, to be right on the point of the greatest duration.

Be sure to wear proper eye protection if you plan on watching the eclipse, and learn more at

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Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions and travel advisories, many upcoming events have been canceled or postponed. Please check with local tourism offices and event organizers for the most up-to-date information.
Updates from the Illinois Department of Public Health