Enlightening the Eclipse: Countdown to 2017

WSIU explores aspects of the upcoming solar eclipse that cast southern Illinois in shadow on August 21, 2017.

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The City of Carbondale estimates approximately 50,000 people came to Carbondale to see the total solar eclipse on Monday.

Makanda Broadwalk Saw a Busy Weekend

Aug 22, 2017
Makanda Illinois Total Solar Eclipse
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

The eclipse is over and Southern Illinois is saying goodbye to the thousands of visitors that joined us for the eclipse.

Southern Illinois welcomed many visitors over the weekend for the eclipse.

Makanda has been on the radar for everyone because it saw the longest totality of any place across the country.

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About 14,000 people filled Southern Illinois University's Saluki Stadium in Carbondale to watch Monday's total solar eclipse.

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Hundreds turned out at the Perryville Regional Airport to view the total solar eclipse.

Total Solar Eclipse
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

After all the hype and preparation the Total solar eclipse came and went, at least for 7years.

Makanda was the cross roads of the eclipse with the longest totality.

Live Map -- Total Solar Eclipse Crosses The U.S.

Aug 21, 2017

The excitement has been building for weeks and weeks. On Monday, August 21st the solar eclipse will finally be here. It will darken the skies along a path from Oregon to South Carolina. It's the first eclipse that will be seen from coast to coast in 99 years. Millions will don special glasses or watch through pinhole projectors. Eclipse enthusiasts say totality never disappoints. Follow this live updating map tracking the position of the eclipse across the United States.

Live Blog - Total Solar Eclipse Crosses The U.S.

Aug 21, 2017
Courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA

It is indeed dark during the day as a total solar eclipse makes its way from Oregon to South Carolina. Eleven states are in the path of total darkness. Follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.

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Jeff Williams/WSIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Planetary Radio Host Mat Kaplan, ahead of the 2017 Solar Eclipse in Carbondale.

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

The eclipse celebration kicked off this past weekend in Perryville, Missouri with Solar Fest.

One of the highlights was Saturday’s unveiling of a sundial on the courthouse square.

Today Is The Day: Corona Takes Center Stage.

Aug 21, 2017

Like it or not, today is the day that the moon  will block out almost the entire sun...WSIU's Kevin Boucher visits with an expert, for an exact rundown.

By now you likely know an eclipse is happening Monday, Aug. 21. There have been countless stories about the celestial event, how to view it, the science behind it and hotels that were booked more than a year in advance. But even with all that coverage, you might not have heard details about a small town in deep Southern Illinois that is expected to almost triple in size just for the eclipse.

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NASA

The Illinois State Police is urging motorists to be prepared for Monday's eclipse.

For starters... Trooper Joey Watson says you need to plan on a lot of traffic in southern Illinois...especially on Interstate 57, Highway 51 and Route 13.

Mark the Eclipse With A Commemorative Stamp

Aug 17, 2017
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U.S. Postal Service

There are many different keepsakes available to commemorate the total solar eclipse throughout the southern Illinois region and the nation as a whole. 
 
Mark Saunders with the U.S. Postal Service says they have special stamps and post marks for the eclipse.

Makanda Boardwalk Preparing for the Eclipse

Aug 17, 2017
Makanda Boardwalk
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

The tiny town of Makanda is the place to be to see the longest totality for the solar eclipse next week.

When you talk about Makanda the first thing that people think of, besides the eclipse, is the boardwalk.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with singer/songwriter Mike Baltz about his new song, "The Eclipse," which he partnered with Carbondale's Shadi Frick to write.

Several hundred people are expected to show up at Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville on Aug. 21 to observe the solar eclipse from the “City of the Sun,” even though the historic site is just outside the path of totality.

The state historic site will experience about 99.5 percent totality and is not planning special events that day, said assistant manager Bill Iseminger.

He expects that most of the eclipse-watchers will want to climb the 156 steps to watch from the top of Monks Mound, the largest of the mounds built by the ancient Mississippians between 1000 and 1400 A.D.

Anyone who gets to see the total solar eclipse on August 21 will be lucky — and humanity is lucky to live on a planet that even has this kind of celestial event.

Mercury and Venus, after all, don't even have moons. Mars has a couple, but they're too small to completely blot out the sun. Gas giants like Jupiter do have big moons, but they don't have solid surfaces where you could stand and enjoy an eclipse.

And, even with solid land and a moon, Earth only gets its gorgeous total solar eclipses because of a cosmic coincidence.

One local group is asking for volunteers to pick up litter in Carbondale, in advance of the expected thousands of eclipse visitors. 

Two weeks ahead of the 2017 Solar Eclipse, WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Amy Fox, the Public Relations Officer for the City of Carbondale. The city, along with SIU and other regional entities, are preparing for tens of thousands of visitors for the August 21st event.

Makanda, IL
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

The total solar eclipse is just around the corner.

The village of Makanda is fortunate to have the longest duration of the total eclipse.

The village of Makanda has around 6oo residents.

They’re also expecting some visitors in a few weeks during the total solar eclipse.

The Public Must Prepare for the Eclipse

Aug 1, 2017

Locals know the total solar eclipse is later this month on the 21st.

Businesses and first responders have been preparing for months. But Rick Linton, Executive Director of Rend Lake Area Tourism says the people in the area need to prepare too.

A Visit To The 2nd Highest Spot In Southern Illinois

Aug 1, 2017

On this edition of Enlightening The Eclipse: Countdown To 2017 we visit to the highest point in southern Illinois and talk to Teresa Gilbert, the Director of Bald Knob Cross Of Peace in Alto Pas about what it is like to plan a Solar Eclipse Viewing Event at a site reached only by two-line, winding country roads.

In less than four weeks thousands, maybe tens of thousands of visitors from all over the earth will be in southern Illinois for the eclipse.  The exact number of visitors is almost impossible to come up with, and many officials say that is challenging when it comes to planning.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Northwestern University Professor and Astronomer Shane Larson, ahead of his Science Cafe at the Science Center of Southern Illinois.

Carbondale Readies For Eclipse Visitors

Jul 24, 2017

In an effort to help eclipse visitors deal with August heat,   the City of Carbondale has designated the Carbondale Civic Center as a cooling site.  The city will also have first aid stations in and around the downtown area.

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The small town of Perryville, Missouri is in the totality path of the Total Solar Eclipse next month.

WSIU's Brad Palmer talks with the woman leading the planning activities about what promises to be a busy weekend starting on August 18.

Makanda Artist Draws The Line.

Jul 21, 2017
Courtesy of Facebook page of Rainmaker Art Studio, Makanda.

On this edition of Enlightening The Eclipse: Countdown To 2017, WSIU visits with Dave Dardis, the Owner of Rainmaker Art Studio in Makanda.

A little more than a month from now, Carbondale will play host to tens of thousands of visitors during a total solar eclipse. WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about their last-minute preparations.

  The stars have aligned for a national organization of Corvette enthusiasts holding its national convention in Bowling Green, Kentucky beginning Aug. 21.

Amtrak Says Its Trains Can Get You to the Eclipse

Jun 28, 2017

If you're planning a trip to Carbondale for the total solar eclipse on August 21st, you might consider riding the train.

Amtrak still has open seats at a discount rate for the eclipse weekend. Whether you're coming from the north or south, Amtrak's Media Relations Officer Marc Magliari says Amtrak is the way to go.

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