Eclipse FAQs

Where is the Saluki Stadium located?

The Saluki Stadium is located at 1415 Arena Dr. Carbondale, IL 62901

When does the eclipse happen and when is it safe to look?

The total solar eclipse is defined by contact times, C1 thu C4. Times listed are for Saluki Stadium local time. 

Start of the partial phase, (C1): 12:43:00 p.m. At this time, the moon starts to cover the sun. This continues for about 90 minutes. At this time you can only look at the sun using special solar filters or solar safety glasses (Eclipse glasses)

Start of the total eclipse, (C2): 1:59:16 p.m.   The moon totally covers the sun, blocking all direct sunlight. The sky darkens quickly and the solar corona (the atmosphere of the sun) is visible. You can observe totality directly, no special filters required.   Planets and stars will also be visible. 

End of the total eclipse (C3): 2:03:24 p.m. .  At this time, the sun will start to reappear and go through a second partial phase as the moon slowly moves out from in front of the sun. This phase lasts for approximately 90 minutes. Protective solar filters and solar safety glasses are required at this time to look at the sun.

End of the partial eclipse (C4): 3:18:10 p.m.  Show’s over.  The sun is back.

Where will the eclipse happen in the sky?

The Sun’s position will change over approximately 3 hours during the eclipse.  The location  is 56  degrees high and south.  When viewing from Saluki Stadium the sun will appear high in the sky and to the southwest.

Do I have to wear solar eclipse glasses during the eclipse?

You only have to wear solar eclipse glasses when you are looking at the sun.  This applies when the sun is out on a normal day or during the partial phases.   Glasses are not required to look at the solar corona during totality. 

Are there special harmful rays present during a solar eclipse that will hurt me?

No, there are no more special harmful rays present during a solar eclipse than what is present at any other time on a normal day.

Will the lights in the stadium be dimmed during totality?

Yes, the lights in the stadium as well as the video scoreboard, and surrounding campus lighting will be turned off so that visitors can fully enjoy totality. In addition, stadium guests are encouraged to disable or cover their cell phone flash / light.

How do I know where to sit in Saluki Stadium

Seating is first come, first serve for all seats. There are chair back, bleacher and berm options for seating. Please note for berm seating, chairs under 30 inches tall and blankets will be allowed. Please also note for bleacher seating, we will not have chairbacks available for rent at SIU the day of the event. Ticket holders may bring their own seat backs for bleacher seating.

Where are the best seats in the stadium?

The best seating is highly subjective.  Guests with seats lower, close to the field will enjoy a shielding effect of the stadium bowl during totality that darkens their view and allows better views of what’s in the sky.  Guests in the upper rows will have a better glimpse of the sunset effect during totality, the light from the sun falling outside the shadow of the moon, and they will notice the changing light levels in the distance as the shadow moves over the area. Guests closer to the field and the end zone will be closer to the stage and activities on the field.  The grass berm is aligned so that all guests there will have a straight on view of totality. All seats in the stadium will see totality, although some people will need to turn slightly southwest in the direction of the sun just past midday to see it.

What will I see during the eclipse from the stadium?

All phases of the eclipse are visible from the stadium from first to final contact including totality. Leading up to the eclipse expect to see shadow bands and the brighter planets become visible minutes before totality. During totality, all of the major planets will be visible as well as the solar corona. Our hosts will point out these and other phenomenon during the event so you don’t miss anything

Will I be able to see totality from my seat?

Yes. There are a small number of seats on the west upper sections of the stadium that do not have a clear view of totality and will be roped off for the event. We are limiting ticket sales so that everyone will have a view of totality.

Do students get in free?

Current SIU Students with their valid SIU ID will get into the eclipse free.  As they come in, we will swipe check their student ID and hand them a ticket in the student section. The student section for the SIU Eclipse Event is for students and seats are first come, first serve.

Guests of SIU Students will not be able to sit in the Student Section.  They can purchase tickets outside the student section.  If they would like their student to sit with them they will need to purchase a ticket for their student.

Do children need tickets?

Children 2 and under that will be sitting in a lap do not need a ticket.

Tailgating and parking lot amenities?

No tailgating will be permitted to ensure safety for all the guests and visitors that will be on the SIU Campus and in the Carbondale, Illinois area to witness the Total Solar Eclipse. No grills, coolers, and other tailgating equipment, or concessions items will be allowed.

Shuttles can pick you up and bring you to the Crossroads Festival where you do not need a ticket and amenities will be available.

Is accessible seating and parking available?

Southern Illinois University is entirely ADA compliant. There are accessible seating options available for purchase. Our ADA compliant seating includes a space intended for wheelchair seating. If a space for wheelchair seating is not needed, a folding chair will be provided.

Accessible parking is available at Southern Illinois University. A state issued placard or license plate sticker will need to be displayed along with your purchased parking pass for the event. Accessible parking is available in both our Grass Parking and Paved Parking locations.

Is photography equipment or telescopes allowed in Saluki Stadium?

Yes, photography equipment will be allowed in Saluki Stadium the day of the event. Handheld cameras will be allowed in the seating sections. Anything larger or on tripods will not be allowed into the seating areas. Larger photography equipment and telescopes on tripods will be allowed to setup in our practice football field, located directly south of the Saluki Stadium. You will show your Eclipse at Saluki Stadium ticket to gain entry to the practice football field. This is a first come, first serve general admission area for those who wish to utilize their photography or astronomy equipment. Patrons will be responsible for the care and safety of their own equipment.

What are the policies for the Field Observation Area south of Saluki Stadium

Tripods, telescopes, and cameras are allowed.

Pop-up tents 10’ x 10’ or smaller are allowed.

No ground stakes.

No vehicles.

*No outside food or drink.

*Food or non-alcoholic beverages brought in the festival area may be carried in. One empty disposable water bottle may also be brought in for fountain use.

Are pets allowed?

No pets will be allowed in Saluki Stadium on the day of the event excepting service animals. Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, and/or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.

For more information about service animals, visit the Disability Services website.

Can I bring food into Saluki Stadium?

Regular stadium concessions food will be available for purchase inside Saluki Stadium. Food items purchased at the Banterra Center will also be allowed in. One empty reusable water bottle per person will be allowed. Food purchased outside of Southern Illinois University will not be allowed Saluki Stadium.

Are there any prohibited items?

All bags may be subject to inspection at all entries to Saluki Stadium.

*No outside food or drink.

Stadium Seats for bleachers are allowed but cannot be carried in a bag.

For the Berm area specifically, chairs under 30’ and blankets will be allowed. No chairs can be carried in bags.

No bag chairs.

No alcoholic beverages or drugs.

No umbrellas.

No artificial noisemakers.

No tobacco products.

No firearms or weapons.

No pets.

No strollers in Saluki Stadium in the stands; there will be a designated area to place them upon arrival.

No coolers.

Telescopes and cameras on tripods may only be setup in the designated viewing area south of Saluki Stadium.

*One empty disposable water bottle may also be brought in for fountain use.

What public transportation options are available?

The Saluki Express bus service will be running. The schedule and routes can be found here: Saluki Express Schedule.

There are also Veo Scooters available to get around campus and Carbondale.

Veo Scooter Info

Please note, scooters will not be allowed to drive through event spaces.

Help, I can't find anywhere to stay.

We know that many of the local hotels have sold out, but there is still lodging available. University Hall (a residence hall on campus) has space.

In addition, sites like Airbnb and VRBO are great resources and there is ample camping available.

For more information, see our Visit page.

What are the alcohol policies during the Eclipse?

Those 21 years and older may purchase alcohol at designated concession stands at Saluki Stadium and the Banterra Center. No outside alcohol will be permitted.

What should I do if there is inclement weather on the day of the Solar Eclipse? Will the Solar Eclipse viewing still take place if it is raining or cloudy?

The activities and events on the SIU Carbondale campus will take place regardless of rain, clouds, or clear skies. We recommend you dress for the weather. The experience should be exceptional even if it is partially cloudy. If there is lightning, staff will follow protocol for evacuating guests from Saluki Stadium to their vehicles or the Banterra Center. There are NO refunds on parking passes or tickets.

Where can I buy Solar Eclipse memorabilia, souvenirs, and gifts?

There will be many establishments selling Solar Eclipse gear, but some of the best local and handmade products will be available at the Crossroads Art and Craft Fair. You can also purchase Solar Eclipse merchandise at the University Bookstore, conveniently located on campus in the SIU Student Center. Visit the University Bookstore website to order official Solar Eclipse merchandise today! Silkworm will also have pop-up stores on campus the weekend and day of the Eclipse.

Student FAQs

Will I still have class the day of the Eclipse?

Classes are not in session on April 8, 2024, so all faculty, staff, and students can participate in the eclipse.

Please check with your instructors and/or the syllabus for deadlines and assignments around that time.

Is campus closed on April 8, 2024?

While classes are not in session, university offices and services (such as the Rec, Student Health Center, dining halls, and Financial Aid) will still be open. Please be patient if staffing is limited, as many faculty and staff will be assisting with Eclipse activities.

Offices may close for a period during the afternoon so everyone can experience totality.

Can my friends and family come here for the Eclipse?

SIU is hosting a variety of events throughout the weekend before and the day of the Eclipse, so please invite your friends and family to join in.

The student section at Saluki Stadium will be limited to SIU students (with ID). If you want to sit with friends or family who are not students, you will need to purchase tickets outside the student section.

University Housing residents are reminded to follow visitor polices in the Resident Handbook.

Will SIU Carbondale students be allowed to get into Saluki Stadium?

The student section at Saluki Stadium has been reserved for students to attend Eclipse Day at Saluki Stadium. Current SIU students with their valid SIU student ID will get into the event for free. As students come in, we will check and swipe their ID and hand them a ticket in the student section. The student section for the SIU Eclipse Event is for students only, and seats are first come, first serve.

Please be advised that due to the size of this event there will be a limited number of tickets available. Student tickets will be provided at the gate, with a valid SIU student ID, when doors open at 11 a.m. Student tickets will also be available from 9-11 a.m., at the Information Tents on the north and south sides of the Banterra Center. Students will receive a pair of eclipse glasses with their entry ticket.

Non-student guests will not be able to sit in the student section. They may purchase tickets outside the student section. Students who would like to sit with non-student guests will need to purchase a general admission ticket.

Do I need a ticket to get into the events on campus?

Tickets are required to enter Eclipse Day at Saluki Stadium. Tickets for the student section are free to students on a first come, first served basis. Student tickets will be provided at the gate, with a valid SIU student ID, when doors open at 11 a.m. Student tickets will also be available from 9-11 a.m., at the Information Tents on the north and south sides of the Banterra Center. General admission tickets for non-students, or students who do not want to sit in the student section, can be purchased on our Tickets page.

Tickets for Eclipse Con (April 6-7 at the Student Center) may be purchased on the Saluki Con website.

Registration for the Run from the Sun 5K can be completed on this registration page.

All other events are free and open to the public.

Is there accessible seating and parking available?

Southern Illinois University is entirely ADA compliant. There are accessible seating options in both the general admission areas and the student section (sections 17-21). Our ADA compliant seating includes a space intended for wheelchair seating. If a space for wheelchair seating is not needed, a folding chair will be provided.

Accessible parking is available at Southern Illinois University. A state issued placard or license plate sticker will need to be displayed along with your purchased parking pass for the event. Accessible parking spaces are available in all lots.

Where can I find locations for all the activities on campus?

The main events will take place in the Student Center, Banterra Center, Saluki Stadium, and the outdoor space around those buildings. Maroon information tents will be stationed in the area, if you have questions. There is a full schedule of events and event locations available.

Where can I park during the Solar Eclipse weekend?

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 5-7, you should follow typical parking policies and guidelines, based on your decal.

On Monday, April 8, 2024, classes will not be in session, so some parking lots will be designated for visitors. These lots will not be accessible except with an Eclipse parking pass. Lots 18 and 56 (south of Saluki Stadium) and Lots 89, 89A and 4889A (west of Saluki Stadium) will be designated for Eclipse parking passes. Lot 47 will be designated for vendors. Other lots may be restricted, as needed. Check our website and signage the day of for updates. Eclipse parking designations begin at 6 a.m. on Monday, April 8, 2024.

If you would like to purchase an eclipse parking pass, please see our Tickets page for details.

Will the Saluki Express run during the solar eclipse?

The Saluki Express will run throughout the Solar Eclipse weekend. Schedule and details are available on the Student Center website

There will also be special shuttles between the main event venues and the designated eclipse parking. These shuttles will run continuously and there will be no charge to ride.

Can I earn service hours during the Eclipse?

All the events happening on campus will use volunteers to help with hospitality and logistics. More information, and links to sign up for specific volunteer shifts (when they become available) is on our Volunteer page.

Can my RSO have an activity or display at the Crossroads Astronomy Science and Technology Expo (CASTE)?

Yes, RSOs (and other campus departments and groups) can be involved with CASTE – for FREE. Admission to attend CASTE is free for everyone, and vendor fees have been waived for all SIU groups and organizations. Go to the CASTE information page and scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about SIU Involvement at CASTE.

Can my RSO host a fundraiser during the Eclipse?

RSOs will be permitted to host a fundraiser in the StraightUp Solar Campus and Community Area. The fundraiser must follow all University RSO fundraising policies and should be themed with the Eclipse in mind.

Are there items I should bring during the Solar Eclipse weekend?

Dress for the weather and be sure to wear comfortable footwear! Temperatures may change throughout the day, so layers may be a good option. We also recommend sunscreen, hats, ponchos or rain jackets, and an empty water bottle you can fill at a fountain.

Eclipse glasses will be available at most events, but you may want to bring your own – just in case!

It is recommended to come prepared with sunscreen, hats, an empty water bottle, poncho (no umbrellas allowed in Saluki Stadium), and any other necessities that you may need. Remember it will most likely be hot and humid so dress for the weather and be sure to wear comfortable footwear!

Where can I pick-up Solar Eclipse glasses?

Eclipse glasses are available for every student on campus. It is extremely important to wear eclipse glasses to prevent eye damage. Eclipse glasses will be available – 1 per student – during the following dates and at the following locations:

April 1-5, 8am – 4:30pm

  • Morris Library Circulation Desk
  • Student Services Building Front Desk

April 8, Starting at 8am

  • Alumni Association
  • Chancellor’s Office
  • Deans Offices (in all colleges)
  • Eclipse volunteers
  • Evergreen Terrace Office
  • Information Tents
  • Lentz and Trueblood Dining Halls
  • Neely, Mae Smith and Schneider
  • Front Desks
  • Saluki Stadium
  • Student Center ID Office
  • Student Health Center
  • Student Recreation Center
  • Wall and Grand Mail Room

On the day of the Solar Eclipse, where can I get more information if I have problems or questions?

There will be maroon Information Tents set up in several areas on the SIU Carbondale campus. Volunteers at the Information Tents and other locations will be wearing bright gold t-shirts. If you need directions, have a problem, or want more information about any events, stop by and ask!

Where can I find more information about the Total Solar Eclipse?

The Total Solar Eclipse is a huge moment for SIU and the local community. We encourage you to visit the websites for more local, regional, and global information about the eclipse on April 8, 2024.

When is the next time I will be able to see a Total Solar Eclipse?

Carbondale, Illinois is lucky enough to be the Solar Eclipse Crossroads of America, in the path of two eclipses in 2017 and 2024. The next eclipse over the contiguous United States won’t be until August 23, 2044! Don’t wait twenty years to witness this incredible event.

I still have questions and can’t find an answer. Who can I contact for additional information?

Please be sure to check out the rest of our website which is packed with lots of great information about the upcoming eclipse (with more content added daily). If you still can’t find the answer to your questions, you may contact us at 618.453.2121 or through email at eclipse@siu.edu.