Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "This summer's solar eclipse is Southern Illinois' chance to shine" from The Chicago Tribune
Southern Illinois is about to have its moment in the sun — and out of it — Aug. 21.
That's when a total solar eclipse will make its way over the U.S. mainland, coast to coast, for the first time in nearly a century.
Tens of thousands of people, including a small army of NASA scientists who will be broadcasting the cosmic spectacle from Carbondale, are expected to pour into a diagonal swath at the bottom tip of the state.
Astronomers, serious eclipse-chasers, regular Joes with FOMO — they're all looking to snag a coveted spot in the "path of totality," a 70-mile-wide sweet spot in which the moon will completely block the sun as the eclipse makes its cross-country trek from Oregon to South Carolina.
While the rest of the continental U.S. will have to make due with a partial eclipse, those in the path of totality will be treated to what promises to be an unforgettable natural wonder, provided the weather cooperates and the clouds stay away.
What can they expect? Well, that glowing ball of hot gas we call the sun will take on the appearance of a black hole surrounded by a pearly white wreath, the sun's rarely visible corona.
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