SIU students designing observatory for 2017 eclipse

Published: Nov. 9, 2015 at 11:28 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2015 at 12:29 AM CST
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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is preparing to be the best place in the world to watch the total solar eclipse in 2017.

The last eclipse of its kind was in 1918, according to the university.

Architecture students spent the semester designing plans for a full-fledged observatory complex with plenty of space for onlookers.

Thousands are expected to convene in Carbondale in 2017, and there are talks NASA will be on-site to host a live stream.

Students spent Monday taking critiques on a variety of designs they've spent the semester creating.

"This happens to be at such an ideal spot, and a project like this gives them the opportunity to host a larger event," said SIU Instructor Chad Schwartz, "and it also benefits the students, because most studio projects are fictitious."

Each design consists of three phases, the first of which could be done by 2017 and is the cheapest of the three with an estimated cost of $50,000.

Project organizers say they hope to fund the first phase through donations, department cooperation and grants and will look for more funding to finish after 2017.

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