Thousands of people will flock to Hopkinsville next month for the first total solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in 99 years. But where’s the next best place to view the eclipse in Kentucky?
An astronomy professor at Western Kentucky University says there are actually several places. Dr. Richard Gelderman says Franklin will have totality for two-minutes-and-25-seconds, just under the two-minutes-and-40-seconds in Hopkinsville.
"Hopkinsville gets you seconds more than other places," Gelderman said. "My analogy is 'If the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras were held on the same weekend, why would you go to New Orleans to pick up a gallon of milk?'"
Other towns offering a prime viewing opportunity include Bowling Green, Scottsville, Russellville, Elkton, Central City, Madisonville, and Gamaliel. Professor Gelderman advises that if you’re already somewhere in the path of totality, stay there to avoid the traffic gridlock anticipated on the day of the eclipse. Gelderman likened planning for the eclipse like planning for a natural disaster [Editor's Note: In the original version of this story, this statement was misattributed to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. It should have been attributed to Gelderman. KYTC has not described the event in such terms. We apologize for any confusion].
Dr. Gelderman adds that the few extra seconds you might view totality elsewhere will not be worth the chaos that could ensue on the roadways.
This story has been updated.
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