CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) – Astronomers are counting the days until the next total solar eclipse.
In 2017, thousands of people gathered to witness the last total solar eclipse in the Heartland.
As of Tuesday, July 13, we are only 1,000 days away from the next total solar eclipse which is expected to occur on April 8, 2024.
“The first thing most people say after seeing one is when is the next one,” said Robert Baer, a specialist in the physics department at SIU Carbondale.
The next eclipse may not be for three years, but Baer said they expect to have another big event.
“We’re planning to do a three-day festival again, similar to what we did last time around, probably using the campus a bit more this time around,” Baer explained.
The festival will not be limited to the observation of the moon intervening between the Earth and the sun.
“There will be a lot of educational activities for families, for children and their parents to see, learn a little more about the eclipse, learn about some sciences, including some of the art around the ‘eclipse,’ Baer said.
Compared to the 2017 eclipse, the entire 2024 eclipse will last a little longer.
“Here on campus we’re looking at about 4 minutes and 9 seconds of totality, which means it’s going to be dark that long, so you can look at the crown in the sky, and it’s similar for the Cape region. It will be just a little shorter in Cape, but about the same, ”Baer said.
According to Baer, the country’s best vantage point is in southwest Texas, with 4 minutes and 30 seconds total.
Baer also explained how this type of event should be planned well in advance.
“So you have to start planning early for something like this because of the magnitude of it and for us here on campus we’re looking, we’re looking at the schedule pretty in advance, do we want to have it? ‘school that day, are we for example, having students on campus, which we will have in April, will be towards the end of the school year, ”Baer said.
For you, astronomers, you have the chance to witness another spectacle in the sky next year.
“A total lunar eclipse coming in May 2022, so we’re less than a year away from it and that’s what people often call a blood moon,” Baer said.
Southern Illinois University is partnering again with Chicago’s Adler Planetarium for the 2024 total solar eclipse. The two partners will once again host the festivities, much like they did in 2017.
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