Tags: carbondale | illinois | eclipse | 2024

Carbondale, Illinois: Eclipse Marks Spot, Now and 2024

Image: Carbondale, Illinois: Eclipse Marks Spot, Now and 2024

A sign directs visitors to parking areas to view the solar eclipse on August 19, 2017 in Carbondale, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 21 August 2017 09:31 AM

Carbondale, Illinois’ eclipse on Monday will be followed by another crossing the United States in 2024, giving the city a rare distinction in astronomy, The Washington Post pointed out.

The paths of both total solar eclipses form an "x," with Carbondale at the crossing point, the Post noted.

Business is booming.

"This is just unbelievable," Marilynn Martin, owner of Mary Lou's Grill in Carbondale, who told the Post about benefiting from eclipse tourists. "How can you plan for something like this? You know, when I first heard about it, I asked, is there a town that I can call them and ask what they did? But nothing like this has ever happened before."

The total solar eclipse on Monday travels 2,500 miles across the U.S. covering an estimated 70-mile wide path, starting in Oregon and crossing 12 states to South Carolina's Atlantic Coast.

At Saluki Stadium, where the Southern Illinois University football team plays its home games, some 14,000 people are expected to crowd the stadium late Monday morning for a mass viewing of the eclipse, the Post said. Stadium capacity is 15,000.

"Mother nature dropped this right in our lap," Mayor John "Mike" Henry told Time magazine. "There isn't anything else we could possibly do to bring this many folks to Carbondale."

A university release said the campus will go completely black from the eclipse at 1:21 p.m., Central time, with partial phases beginning at 11:52 a.m. and ending at 2:47 p.m.

The 2024 eclipse will cross just south of campus, said the university, which is dubbing Carbondale the "Eclipse Crossroads of America."

Residents told Time the university has brought crowds to the city every now and then for various events, but nothing has gone over like the upcoming eclipse.

"We're thinking of it as (a Southern Illinois University) family weekend on steroids," longtime Carbondale resident Roxanne Conley, who manages a screen-printing business in town and vice president of Carbondale's tourism bureau, told Time.

The city's economic development director Steven Mitchell told Time that the city could see an $8 million benefit to the private sector from the eclipse tourism Monday. NASA estimated that some 50,000 to 90,000 could travel to Carbondale this weekend, but state police are not guessing upwards to 120,000, Time wrote.

And Carbondale will get to do it all over again in seven years.

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Carbondale, Illinois’ eclipse on Monday will be followed by another crossing the United States in 2024, giving the city a rare distinction in astronomy, The Washington Post pointed out.
carbondale, illinois, eclipse, 2024
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2017-31-21
Monday, 21 August 2017 09:31 AM
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