Mark your calendars and make your way to Nashville this August 21, because this year, the United States is lucky enough to experience a total solar eclipse. Why head to Nashville? Because Nashville is the largest city in the world to experience this eclipse. This is why tourists from all over are headed to Nashville and the surrounding area, already booking hotel rooms. The city is preparing for this rare event because for just about two minutes in the middle of the day, the sky will go dark as the moon completely blocks the sun. This is an event you do not want to miss, and we are here to share four quick things that you need to know.
1. The eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017.
In Nashville, the partial eclipse will begin at 11:58 a.m., and the start of totality is 1:27 p.m., ending at 1:29 p.m. The partial eclipse will end at 2:45 p.m.
2. Nashville is the largest city to experience the total solar eclipse.
Although other spots across the country will experience the eclipse for up to 2 minutes, 41.6 seconds, Nashville will experience the ninth longest totality and is the largest city wholly within the path of the total solar eclipse. On the grounds of the State Capitol, it is reported that there will be 1 minute, 54 seconds of total darkness. Everyone in the continental United States will see a partial eclipse, but viewing the total eclipse is a rare phenomenon that everyone should try to experience firsthand.
3. It has been awhile since the last total solar eclipse … and it’s a really long time until the next one!
This is the first total solar eclipse over the continental United States since 1979 (Hawaii experienced a total eclipse in 1991). In most parts of the country, you will have to wait until 2566 to experience the next one, and if you’re still around for that, well, enjoy!
4. Nashville welcomes you to watch.
Public viewing locations include Beaman Park, Bells Bend, Cedar Hill Park, Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, Fort Negley, Peeler Park and Shelby Bottoms. See a list of Tennessee State Park celebrations here. There will be celebrations all across this city. Visit visitmusiccity.com/eclipse for updated event listings.
Quick tip: Remember that during the eclipse you can’t stare at the sun! Your body’s natural tendencies to look away, squint and blink are inhibited and it’s quite possible to burn your retinas and have permanent eye damage, even blindness. Read up on how to view the eclipse here. So, be safe, enjoy the eclipse, and make your reservations NOW for hotels and airfare, unless you are one of our lucky readers actually in Nashville. If so, plan to take the day off of work!
Make plans to visit Music City for this once-in-a-lifetime event, and stay tuned for more news and events taking place around town to celebrate the eclipse.