AMES, Iowa- It is over two years away, but sky watchers are already laying plans to view a total solar eclipse across the middle of the United States. The celestial event will take place on Monday August 21of 2017. The Total Eclipse zone will clip just a few acres on the far southwest corner of Iowa. One online map shows around 3 square miles or so southwest of Hamburg as the only spot in the state in total eclipse.
No towns will be in the total eclipse zone, but the state of Iowa will be in partial eclipse. People wanting to see the total eclipse living in Iowa will have to head nearby to Nebraska, or Missouri.
Being in the total eclipse is important to Steve Kawaler, who is a Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Iowa State University.
“If you’re in the center line, all of a sudden when the last bit of sunlight disappears, you’re sitting underneath a night sky, just in the middle of the day,” said Kawaler. “Its a very very different feeling that you only get from totality.”
Some towns which are in the path of the total eclipse are making big plans to welcome visitors. One such town is North Platte Nebraska. It is not only in the path of the total eclipse, it is also located on Interstate 80. The town’s Chamber of Commerce is making plans to house visitors in local motels, and on farms around the community.
North Platte has a Facebook Page to welcome people there for the total eclipse.
The state of Missouri has a website with all things Eclipse2017
The State of Nebraska has an Eclipse 2017 Facebook Site, as well.
There is also a National Eclipse 2017 website.
Kawaler said people will no doubt be learning more about this eclipse in the next two years. “I am sure the media, people like me telling everybody they know to go see this thing will have its affect,” said Kawaler.
“It’s going to be a nation-wide block party,” added Kawaler. “I’ll probably be down in Missouri at the center-line of the eclipse where it lasts the absolute longest, only about 2 and a half minutes of so.”
Iowa just experienced a partial solar eclipse last fall which was visible in central Iowa.