Countdown to Totality

Astronomers, astrophiles and even casual stargazers are preparing for this solar eclipse coming to our area on August 21st.

The sky will darken at 11:54 am as the moon passes between the sun and the earth.

This rare event will be completed within three minutes, so mark your calendars and get the appropriate eye protection now. The last time Chicago was this close to the path of totality was in 1925. And the next time Chicago will be in this path will be in 2099.

Eclipse path

Carbondale, Illinois is in the direct path for the total eclipse of the sun while here in Des Plaines and the Chicago area, the coverage is closer to 90%. Given all our access to technology and the internet, it is worth noting that viewing the event real time is still a big deal.

Viewing parties and community gatherings have been in the making for over a year. Southern Illinois University will be hosting a viewing in their stadium with lectures and other festivities leading up to the eclipse. Carbondale's population is expected to double during these days.

Here in Chicago, the Adler Planetarium will be host of a community gathering with associated festivites.

Adler Planetarium also sells eye protection at their store and online. Click here for their online store. It's important that products meet the International Organization for Standardization ISO standard.

While you are waiting for the (almost) total eclipse of the sun, check these out.

Photo Credit for top image of the phases of an eclipse:  Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

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