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Finally! A more even-handed article about bragging rights for the 2017 solar eclipse posted today!

It's Official:
(from the United States Naval Observatory)

Carbondale Illinois

is the nearest major city to the center of longest duration of darkness. The center lies some ten miles (driving distance) south of Carbondale inside the Shawnee National Forest with a maximum duration of
2 minutes and 44.3 seconds
for the upcoming total eclipse of the sun on
August 21, 2017!

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You can download the word file showing more detail for each city shown above that was obtained from USNO.

Exact location is 37°38'12"N 89°15'24"W. For GPS purposes, 776 Midway Rd, Shawnee National Forest, Makanda, IL 62958, USA.

"So what happened to Hopkinsville Kentucky? I thought NASA said it was the center?"

The short answer — NASA updated their website back in February of this year with them now pointing to the Shawnee National Forest, but some 20 miles east of the USNO location near Goreville Illinois.
The long answer — read below by clicking here.


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This is how Kentucky will look on August 21, 2017.

For those who have iPods and Androids, I have a new website setup to accommodate that type of technology which you can access by clicking here. You can also click here strictly for the flash animation of Kentucky.
I will be creating eclipse animations for the rest of the states as time permits.


Total Eclipse of the Sun
August 21 (Monday), 2017
animations below

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A musical variation of the 2017 eclipse I posted on YouTube

I used Voyager 4.5.7, Adobe Photoshop and Flash, and Alcyone Eclipse Calculator to put this animation together. The music is from the album Around the World in 80 Days by Victor Young back in 1956 ( which still sounds great)!

This video conveys, more than any others that I have seen, the excitement and wonder in viewing a total eclipse of the Sun. I don't speak Japanese, but you can tell from the lady reporter's excitement that she was glad that she was on this assignment (and on a cruise ship)! The constant beeping in the background is a shortwave radio picking up a time signal and broadcasting each second as a beep. Even on a cruise ship, people want accurate information about how long the eclipse lasts, and what time it begins and ends. It is also handy if you are taking photographs or movies. This cruise ship seems to have thought of everything to make this an enjoyable experience!


What does the NASA Eclipse Web Site mean to you when you find out that NASA has NO personnel, NO offices or a division to handle eclipse information. What?! They do have one VOLUNTEER for the eclipse website. NASA lets the volunteer freely update the web pages whenever he feels like it, but strangely, NASA has no involvement in what is placed on the eclipse site except to turn it on or off. NASA does not have anybody to double-check the facts!

Did you know, starting from 2018 and onward, that the eclipse maps and data are out-of-date at NASA? Does NASA have anyone in place to correct this problem -- NO?!

(Please download this word docx which has before and after pictures in it about NASA's eclipse website. It does make it easier to understand what I am describing in this section!)

From NASA Goddard, on June 18 2014

On February 12th 2014, NASA took down their eclipse website for over a week with a redirect to USNO. Why? The author had to rework some of the eclipse definitions and maps. NASA and the author of the eclipse information KNEW the eclipse information were out-of-date for years, and yet, they didn't correct the problem until this year! Why?!

The author retired back in 2009. In February of this year, the author updated the solar eclipse maps through 2017. Unfortunately, the orthographic maps have only a written description for greatest duration at the bottom of the page. These maps alone still do not show where greatest duration is located until now on another map. (Why greatest eclipse (GE) still has to be shown is beyond me!)

Again, NASA does not have any staff to handle the solar eclipse maps and data for future eclipses. NASA classifies the author as a volunteer, and they freely display his eclipse information, and he updates the information whenever he likes.

Wikipedia, on April 25th, has completely dropped NASA's reference to Hopkinsville Kentucky as being the area with the longest duration of darkness at 2 minutes and 40 seconds on August 21, 2017. They have decided to use USNO's data which places maximum duration of darkness near Carbondale Illinois in the Shawnee National Forest with a maximum time of
2 minutes and 44.3 seconds.

USNO does not recognize NASA's data for this eclipse with NASA not recognizing USNO's data which is weird (and the federal government showing two locations is discombobulated)! I have asked if the two agencies would like to get together and work out their differences, but both are firm with their results. USNO, by the way, is United States Naval Observatory. USNO does not recognize the NASA term greatest eclipse. They use the term maximum duration.

Because USNO has a fulltime staff to handle eclipse predictions in Washington, D.C., I find they are the most reliable and the best source for any eclipse information. NASA, for whatever their reason, has "dropped the ball!"


email me!

Updated on July 8, 2014