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SIU counting down to next solar eclipse

On August 21, 2017 the Heartland experienced the first total solar eclipse since 1979 over the...
On August 21, 2017 the Heartland experienced the first total solar eclipse since 1979 over the mainland United States. On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will again sweep across the Heartland. (Source: KFVS)((Source: KFVS))
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 9:55 AM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - The Heartland is more than 2.5 years away from the next total solar eclipse, but plans are already underway for the event that awed so many in 2017.

Southern Illinois University is counting down to the next event on April 8, 2024.

Tuesday, July 13 will mark 1,000 days until the total solar eclipse.

Like the eclipse in 2017, the path of totality will be over the Heartland, with Carbondale one of the prime locations to watch.

This places SIU at the crossroads for the second eclipse.

According to Bob Baer, a specialist in the a specialist with the Physics Department at SIU, 2024′s celestial event will be a spectacular.

“We have one of the best views in the country for the total eclipse in 2024,” said Baer in a previous interview. “We’re going to have just over 4 minutes and 8 seconds of totality for people to enjoy. It’s definitely something for people to look forward to.”

He also said in 2024 all the major planets will be visible without a telescope.

“So you’ll be able to look up with the unaided eye, without a telescope you’ll see Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Mars,” explained Baer.

The path of totality will southwest to northeast, which is the opposite of and overlaps the 2017 event. This is why the Heartland is coined as the Solar Eclipse Crossroads.

SIU is currently working on viewing plans for the 2024 event, with Baer serving as the co-chair of SIU’s 2017-2024 Eclipse Steering Committee.

Baer said the planning is more extensive compared to 2017.

The committee began meeting in June.

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