Carbondale and the Solar Eclipse

Welcome to the Eclipse Crossroads.

eclipse crossroads graphicOn August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse path will stretch across the entire United States, reaching its point of greatest duration (GD) a few miles south of Carbondale. This region in southern Illinois is not only in the path of the 2017 eclipse, but also the 2024 eclipse, making it a unique location for being able to perform observations of both eclipses from the same location.

On the main SIU Carbondale campus, totality will happen at 1:21 p.m. CDT. The partial phases of the eclipse start at 11:52 a.m., and end at 2:47 p.m.

The second total solar eclipse is coming up on April 8, 2024. The two eclipse paths form an intersection just south of the SIU campus around Cedar Lake.

Total solar eclipses in 2014 and 2017

The paths of the two eclipses intersect just south of the SIU campus.



There will be several events on campus the day of the eclipse, the main one being a public viewing at the football stadium. There will also be eclipse tailgating, indoor viewing, talks and presentations and an area dedicated to eclipse citizen science. For people who want to be right on the point of greatest duration, there is an event planned by the Astronomical Association of Southern Illinois just south of the main Carbondale campus in Giant City State Park. If you don’t get eclipse glasses in advance, plenty will be available at the campus events. There will also be an opportunity for direct viewing through special solar telescopes. Find out more about the festivities.

Is there space set aside on campus for serious eclipse chasers/citizen scientists?

Yes. SIU Carbondale is participating in the Citizen CATE project and is setting aside space on and around the main campus for other citizen science groups and eclipse chasers. For more information, contact the Illinois Citizen CATE coordinator, Robert Baer,

The Total Solar Eclipse

This total eclipse is different from the partial eclipse the rest of the country will see. In the path of totality that goes directly over Carbondale, the sun will be completely blotted out. It will get dark enough for street lights to turn on, the temperature will drop and bright stars will be visible in the sky. For 2 minutes, 38 seconds, it will be like night in the middle of day. You can see this from anywhere along the path of totality in Southern Illinois, but the best view will be at SIU Carbondale.

Eclipse Path

This image depicts the path and duration of the solar eclipse. The eclipse will last approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds near Carbondale. The eclipse reaches Illinois at 1:17pm CDT and leaves the state at 1:25pm.