Countdown to Heartland Eclipse 2017: How long will it last

(KFVS) - On August 21, the path of totality will pass through Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky.

The path of totality means the moon will be directly in front of the sun, casting a shadow on the earth.

Just south of Carbondale, Ill. the moon will block the sun for nearly 2 minutes and 41 seconds, which is longer than anywhere else during this eclipse.

But just how long can a total solar eclipse last?

The duration of an eclipse depends on many factors, including the distance between the Earth and the moon and the distance between the Earth and the sun. Because the orbits of the moon and sun are not exact circles, the time of the total eclipse can vary with the longest being 7 minutes and 31 seconds of totality.

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