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Kentucky Mesonet

The Kentucky Mesonet dramatically increased data collection at its 68 weather and climate monitoring stations during the solar eclipse. 

Melissa Griffin is responsible for data quality for Kentucky Mesonet, which is based at Western Kentucky University. She says the data that came in during the eclipse provides almost a real-time collection of atmospheric conditions.

Becca Schimmel

Approximately 2,000 people gathered at Western Kentucky University’s football stadium to view the total solar eclipse, with the much-anticipated  event bringing in school students from around the region.

Keith Brown, principal at Western Elementary in Ohio County, said he was looking forward to viewing the totality and having his students there to see it as well. 


Romeo Durscher/NASA

It is indeed dark during the day as a total solar eclipse makes its way from Oregon to South Carolina. Eleven states are in the path of total darkness. Follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.

On Monday, the moon will completely eclipse the sun, and people all over the U.S. will watch.

For those who have been boning up on eclipse trivia for weeks, congratulations. For everyone else, here are the things you need to know about the phenomenon.

Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. is preparing to experience this summer’s blockbuster show-the first coast to coast total solar eclipse in 99 years. 

While solar eclipses aren’t uncommon, this one is significant. Not only is it a total solar eclipse, meaning the moon will completely blot out the sun, it will also be visible in portions of 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina. 

It’s been 38 years since a total eclipse was visible from the continental United States - and even then it was visible only in the northwestern U.S. & Canada.  Many eclipses are only visible from remote parts of the globe.


The day of the long-awaited coast-to-coast solar eclipse has arrived — and if history is any guide, it's likely that somebody's eyes are going to get hurt.

Anyone who gets to see the total solar eclipse on August 21 will be lucky — and humanity is lucky to live on a planet that even has this kind of celestial event.

Mercury and Venus, after all, don't even have moons. Mars has a couple, but they're too small to completely blot out the sun. Gas giants like Jupiter do have big moons, but they don't have solid surfaces where you could stand and enjoy an eclipse.

And, even with solid land and a moon, Earth only gets its gorgeous total solar eclipses because of a cosmic coincidence.

NASA

As Bowling Green, Hopkinsville, Franklin and other Kentucky cities in prime viewing area prepare for the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, NASA is issuing a warning.

NASA has been alerted that some unsafe eclipse glasses are being sold to consumers. Special eye protection is needed for safe viewing of the astronomical event.   

NASA says the only glasses that should be used are produced by four companies – American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, TSE 17 and Thousand Oaks Optical. 

The safe glasses must also have the reference number ISO 12312-2.

NASA has details on safe eclipse viewing glasses and on the solar eclipse on its website

The path of the eclipse runs across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Locations nearest the center line will experience darkness for two-minutes-and-43-seconds.

Western Kentucky University

The stars have aligned for a national organization of Corvette enthusiasts holding its national convention in Bowling Green, Kentucky beginning Aug. 21.

That’s the day of the solar eclipse and Bowling Green is in the prime viewing area.

Bowling Green is the only place the Corvette is made, so car clubs often have conventions in town and the GM Corvette plant is always on the ‘must see’ list.

WKU Hardin Planetarium

Western Kentucky University is planning for its football stadium to be filled with a crowd of 8,000 to 20,000 school-age children for the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21. 

WKU has invited area school districts to share the highly anticipated event that will cause the day to go dark for about one minute at 1:27 p.m. in Bowling Green.

The path of the eclipse runs across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Locations nearest the center line will experience darkness for two-minutes-and-43-seconds. Bowling Green is at the edge of the “path of totality” for the eclipse.

Kentucky Mesonet

The Kentucky state climatologist said scientists must continue to provide updated climate information to U.S. decision makers.  

The comments come after President Donald Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. 

State Climatologist Stuart Foster oversees the Kentucky Mesonet with weather and climate monitoring stations across the state. Foster is director of the Kentucky Climate Center and said Mesonet provides extensive data that’s available to state policy makers. 

Foster said there are natural climate variations from year-to-year.

Business Wire

A group proposing a natural gas plant in Henderson County is continuing to seek contracts needed to secure financial backing to build the facility.

HenderSun Energy LLC owns 2,000 acres in Henderson County and the proposed power generation plant would be on 40 of those acres.

Owensboro Municipal Utilities had considered signing a 10-year contract to buy electricity from the proposed plant, but decided against it earlier this month. OMU has decided to shut down its aging Elmer Smith plant with its two coal-fired generating units. One unit will be shut down by 2019 and the second by 2023. That will mark the end of coal-fired power in Owensboro after 117 years. The city is continuing to consider options for its future power needs.

Rhonda J Miller

Hopkinsville is continuing to gear up for this summer’s solar eclipse. The astronomical event on Aug. 21 is expected to attract more than 50,000 visitors from around the globe to Christian County.

That’s because Hopkinsville is a point of longest duration of the total solar eclipse – two-minutes-and-40-seconds.

Cheryl Cook is executive director of the Hopkinsville-Christian County Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says preparation has been full-speed ahead with the mayor, governor, the National Guard and emergency management groups all playing a role.

But Cook says planners are still expecting the unexpected when it goes dark just after one o’clock in the afternoon on Aug. 21.

The Bowling Green March for Science on April 22 is one of many satellite events being held across the country in support of the national march in Washington, D.C.

The national March for Science was sparked by Trump administration cuts to federal science agencies and the appointment of some national leaders who don’t accept scientific evidence for issues like climate change.

Bruce Kessler is head of the math department at Western Kentucky University. He says he will participate in the Bowling Green march to stand up for the value of science without regard to political affiliation.

I think it’s a good opportunity for folks who care about science and care about mathematics, we’re scientists too, to show the world we’re not bad folks, we’re not folks who have an agenda really, other than figuring the world out."

Simpson County Tourism Commission

The total solar eclipse that will put some portions of Kentucky in prime viewing area is seven months away, and tourism officials are in high gear preparing for the influx of visitors.

By a coincidental act of nature, Hopkinsville is the bullseye for the total solar eclipse on August 21 that will last for two-minutes-and-40-seconds at the peak time. But the moon will pass between the sun and the Earth and cast a darkness in cities from Paducah to Scottsville for times ranging from one-minute-13-seconds to two-minutes-39-seconds.

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