Solar Eclipse Expected to Draw Thousands to Southern Illinois

Mar 31, 2015

The best place to view the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 is southern Illinois. Scientists and enthusiasts from all over the world are already booking rooms and preparing their travel plans.

Doctor Matt Penn is an Associate Astronomer at the National Solar Observatory and Telescope Scientist at the McMath-Pierce Observatory. He hopes to learn more about the outer atmosphere of the sun – called the corona.

“The plasma is accelerated from about a mile per second to 100 miles per second in its outward velocity in this region. We know that the magnetic fields control dynamics, and cause flares and eruptions in this part of the corona. But we’re really unable to study that from space, or from the ground, very easily.”

Penn says NASA and other agencies will be working to produce a video of the eclipse with contributions from all over the country, adding to the data that will be analyzed from the event.

The region will get another chance to see a total solar eclipse as well… that’s happening in April of 2024. You can learn more at