Preparing for solar eclipse in 2017
Dr. Matt Penn found his way to Carbondale, Illinois by following the solar eclipse map. The college town is one of the closest along the line of the total solar eclipse predicted for August 21, 2017. Penn is preparing now.
An astronomer at the national Solar Observatory, Penn is recruiting people to help him with an experiment. He wants to set up 60 to 100 people all across the county along the totality line with telescopic cameras. As the shadow sweeps from state to state he wants volunteers to take pictures that can be combined to show the entire 90 minutes the eclipse is over the United States.
He talked on campus Tuesday about his plans and about the plans the campus is making to accommodate the crowds of people who will come to watch.
Bob Baer, AP SIUC staff and Co-Chair of the Eclipse Committee, told Local 6, the weather will play a big role, but they’re planning to have between 20,00 and 50,000 extra people on campus. Students are already being approached to rent out their rooms, and the school has already printed solar glasses to hand out. Baer said they’ve been planning for more then a year already and will begin to promote the area in the coming months.
Baer said because of the influx of people, towns all over Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky will play host to visitors. Paducah city leaders told Local 6, they’re well aware of the coming attraction and will start promoting more later this year.