Have you heard? If not, let me be the first to tell you an amazing life changing event will be happening August 21, 2017, and if you are at Camp Ondessonk you will be able to witness it. What could this event be? It is a total eclipse of the Sun. For most of us this will be our first opportunity to see a total eclipse of the Sun, and it is also the first total solar eclipse that will be solely in North America since 1918. The path of totality will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina passing through southern Illinois and over Camp Ondessonk. Below is an image that shows the details. Totality will start at 1:21pm on August 21, 2017.
The point of Greatest Duration of Totality is actually between Blue Sky and Orlandini Vineyards, Between Makanda and Goreville, IL, but the difference in time of totality is only approximately 3 seconds.
But why should you care? From what I have been told it is hard to put witnessing this event into words. What is happening is that the Moon will be passing across the face of the Sun from our vantage point on the Earth. The shadow cast by the Moon will pass over us traveling approximately 1500 mph. It is said if you are in an open field, like the pastures at Camp, you will be able to see this shadow approaching like a dark rain storm. Then once in the shadow the sky will grow dark like twilight just after sunset with that pinkish orange glow encircling the horizon. Stars and planets will be visible in the sky, and you will be able to see the Corona (the outer atmosphere) of the sun with an unaided eye. This will include prominences and flares if any are present. Animals and birds will attempt to bed down and roost as if getting ready for the night, temperatures will drop and you will temporarily be able to look directly at the sun with your own eyes. In fact, you will have to in order to be able to see the Sun at this time. The Photospehere of the Sun or the part we normally see will be blocked by the Moon, but the Corona will extend twice the diameter of the Moon in a glow that can only be seen during a total solar eclipse.
This is truly an event that shouldn’t be missed and seeing it in the pastures at Camp Ondessonk will be a prime place to do it. In the Carbondale area, there are plans for anywhere from 30,000 – 50,000 extra people showing up for the event. NASA will be broadcasting NASA TV and their webcast from Saluki Stadium. Southern Illinois will be invaded with eclipse chasers. What a great time to be at Camp Ondessonk to enjoy a life changing event in a peaceful and serene setting.
For more information on the 2017 Eclipse of the Great American Eclipse go to these following websites:
SIUC Eclipse Page
The Great American Eclipse
Xavier Jubier’s Eclipse Totality Interactive Map Calculator (or search for Xavier Jubier Eclipse Calculator)
Or contact me, Chris Midden at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I have a PowerPoint presentation I have been sharing with teachers that has basic information on the eclipse along with viewing tips, and would be happy to share it with you if you are interested.