Solar Eclipse 2017

eclipse pathAbout the Eclipse in Kentucky

Make plans to spend time in Paducah to experience the Great American Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017.  Many areas in Kentucky will provide great viewing opportunities.  On that date, millions of people across the United States will see a rare celestial event — a total eclipse of the Sun. The Moon completely blocks the Sun causing daytime to become a deep twilight.  The Sun's corona will shimmer in the darkened sky. The total eclipse is truly a once-in-a- lifetime event.  According to NASA, any given point on the planet will only experience a total solar eclipse about once every 375 years. 

Kentucky experiences the longest eclipse duration in the narrow path of totality which spans a diagonal line of the contiguous United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Paducah is part of a narrow path in which the total solar eclipse will reach totality at approximately 1:24 p.m.  Nearby Hopkinsville, Kentucky is considered to be the point of greatest eclipse with a duration of approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds.  The entire process from when the eclipse begins to when the moon does not block the sun takes around three hours.

TRAFFIC:  The eclipse will bring an influx of visitors to this area.  Western Kentucky counties are bracing for an influx of anywhere from 100,000 visitors up to a half-million or more starting about three days before the eclipse.  With the increased number of visitors in the area, there is potential for gridlock along Interstate 24 corridor through Kentucky and along KY 91 between Princeton and Hopkinsville. Expect local roadways to become heavily congested as well.

Celebratory Events and Lodging

Celebratory eclipse events are being planned and will be listed through the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau in addition to a list of available lodging.

Local Viewing

Paducah offers numerous parks so that you can sit back and enjoy the eclipse.  Popular parks that have parking areas are 

Here is a list of specific recommendations for eclipse watchers:

  • Choose a specific place to watch the eclipse.  If you stop randomly along area highways, you can be issued a citation for impeding traffic.  Parking along a right-of-way creates a number of hazards.
  • Restroom facilities will be at a premium.  Pick a viewing location with appropriate facilities.
  • Bring an ample supply of food and water for the duration of your planned stay.
  • Have a specific place to stay - Either a hotel room or appropriate campsite.
  • Be prepared for the weather and possible extreme summer heat.
  • Be prepared for traffic delays. Thousands of visitors may create traffic gridlock at some critical intersections and interchanges, particularly along the I-24 corridor and KY 91 corridor.

Web Resources

Great American Eclipse website >> 

Kentucky Tourism >>

NASA's Solar Eclipse webpage >>

Eclipse Viewing Tips (Eye Protection Guidance) >>

National Eclipse Website >>