If you’re planning on viewing the 2017 solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st, better make some travel plans. Here in the northeast won’t be the best for watching the Moon pass between the Sun and Earth. However, there are some places that will be great to watch the moon cast parts of America into darkness. From west to east, the whole spectacle will take about 2 1/2 hours to complete, starting around 10:15 a.m. PT in Oregon and ending about 2:45 p.m. ET in South Carolina. Each city along the path will have about 2 minutes of solar eclipse time.
For 2 minutes and 26 seconds beginning at 11:42 a.m. MT, all of Casper will plunge into darkness, and several events are scheduled as part of Wyoming Eclipse Festival 2017. That includes the Astronomical League holding their annual Astrocon Conference in Casper before and during Eclipse Day.
Music City is the largest city in the path of the total eclipse, with the event occurring for 1 minute, 57 seconds beginning at 1:27 CT. Activities include a Music City Eclipse Science & Technology Festival at the downtown Adventure Science Center.
An appearance by Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke at the Capitol Building highlights the activities occurring on Eclipse Day in Columbia, with the phenomenon taking place starting at 2:43 ET and lasting for 2 minutes, 30 seconds.
St. Joseph, MO
This city north of Kansas City in The Show Me State has five planned viewing areas, including a party at Rosecrans Memorial Airport. The total eclipse in St. Joseph will occur for 2 minutes, 39 seconds beginning at 1:06 p.m. CT.
The Oregon State Fairgrounds will be ideal for watching the total eclipse when it arrives in Salem at 10:19 a.m. PT for 2 minutes, 4 seconds. The Oregon Museum of Science & Industry will host several events at the fairgrounds.
Brigham Young University Idaho will provide a perfect viewing area for the total eclipse that starts at 11:33 a.m. MT and will last for 2 minutes, 18 seconds. Another good spot in Idaho to watch the excitement is Craters of the Moon (how appropriate) National Monument & Preserve.
Grand Island, NE
The Stuhr Museum in Grand Island has scheduled many Eclipse Day festivities, including the launch of an official NASA observation balloon. The total eclipse will last for 2 minutes, 30 seconds and commence at 11:49 a.m. MT.
Carbondale is home to Southern Illinois University, and a huge watch party is planned at Saluki Field. The total eclipse in Carbondale will begin at 1:20 p.m. CT and last for 2 minutes, 41 seconds.
The Little Green Men Festival is part of the fun activities associated with Eclipse Day in Hopkinsville, and a great place to watch is from the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site. The total eclipse will last 2 minutes, 41 seconds beginning at 1:24 p.m. CT.
Bryson City, NC
The planetarium in Bryson City will provide an excellent viewing area, plus there will be rides aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to high-elevation Eclipse Day locations. The total eclipse will occur beginning at 2:34 p.m. and last for 1 minute, 57 seconds.