Website offers unique sites to view 2017 solar eclipse

A website which is dedicated to the upcoming 2017 total solar eclipse in the United States has unveiled a list of unique places to view the event.

The website,, recently posted “Ten Unique Places to View the National Eclipse,” which includes Jackson County in Southern Illinois.

The list, which represents a slightly different take on other top 10 “best” or “greatest” viewing site lists, includes locations in eight states along the eclipse “path of totality” from Oregon to South Carolina.

The website notes that while most top 10 eclipse lists focus on places with the most promising weather prospects, the longest durations of totality or the most interesting local attractions, all information that is sure to be valuable to people still trying to decide where to go to see the eclipse, decided to add some levity to the decision-making process by offering its picks for the most quirky, outrageous or just plain unique places to view the eclipse.

The list includes the following viewing sites from west to east along the path of totality:

Fishing Rock, Lincoln Beach, Ore.

Volcanoes EclipseFest, Keizer, Ore.

1918 Viewing Site, Baker City, Ore.

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Butte County, Idaho.

Carhenge, Alliance, Neb.

The Iowa Triangle, Fremount County, Iowa.

Eclipse Crossroads, Jackson County in Southern Illinois.

“Little Green Men” Days Festival, Kelly, Ky.

Clingman’s Dome, Swain County, North Carolina.

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Charleston County, S.C. doesn’t claim that these are necessarily the “best” or “greatest” places to view the eclipse on Aug. 21, and notes that first-time eclipse chasers may want to view the eclipse from more conventional sites that have been recognized as having the longest durations of totality and the most promising weather prospects. 

However, adventure seekers, veteran eclipse chasers looking for a unique viewing experience and everyone else excited about this highly anticipated upcoming event will find “Ten Unique Places to View the National Eclipse” a fun and interesting read, the website noted.

Eclipse Crossroads

The website shared the following information about  the Eclipse Crossroads in Jackson County: 

After 2017, the next total solar eclipse to occur in the U.S. will take place on April 8, 2024. 

Since the 2017 eclipse crosses the country from northwest to southeast and the 2024 eclipse travels through the nation from southwest to northeast, the two paths cross each other and create a zone of overlapping totality in southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky. 

If you stand in the same place within this totality zone on Aug. 21, 2017, and April 8, 2024, you can tell your friends that you witnessed two total eclipses from the same spot in seven years. Pretty neat, right?

This totality zone is big, encompassing roughly 9,000 square miles. But when two eclipse paths cross each other, there can only be one unique point on Earth where both centerlines meet. 

For the 2017 and 2024 eclipses, that point is located near the eastern shore of Cedar Lake in Jackson County, Illinois. 

Of course, if you set up camp in the nearby town of Makanda, less than 4 miles away, nobody will dispute your claim that you saw the eclipse from the crossroads. 

In fact, even the largest nearby city, Carbondale, is calling itself the “eclipse crossroads of America.” 

What’s more, the 2017/2024 centerline crossing is coincidentally located only about ten miles from the “point of greatest duration” in 2017. 

If you decide to view the eclipse at or near the crossroads on August 21, you’ll also enjoy the longest total eclipse in the country.

The eclipse will begin at the centerline crossing at 11:52 a.m. CT with totality starting at 1:20 p.m. CT and lasting for two minutes and 40 seconds.

The full text of “Ten Unique Places to View the National Eclipse” can be found at

About the National Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur in 14 U.S. states. 

This will be the first total solar eclipse seen in the U.S. in 26 years and the first seen in the contiguous United States in 38 years. 

It will also be the first total eclipse to travel across the United States from coast to coast since 1918 and the first total eclipse seen only in the United States since the nation’s founding in 1776. was created to serve as a one-stop source of information and resources for the eclipse. 

The 2017 eclipse is expected to be the most witnessed solar eclipse in human history and one of the biggest news stories in years.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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