Be Safe As You View Eclipse This Monday!

Apr 06, 2024 at 08:11 am by WGNS

NASA map showing closest areas of the eclipse' path.

Rutherford County, TN – The total eclipse of the sun will take place here during the mid-day hour on Monday, April 8, 2024. Although middle Tennessee is not directly along the “eclipse path”, it is still in an area that viewers will experience this historic moment.

First, what causes the eclipse? The sun, moon and earth will align on Monday (4/8/2024). This will cast a shadow, and as the earth rotates—that shadow will create a path that goes across a large section of North America. (see the attached NASA map that shows this area’s closest “eclipse path”)

Protect Your Eyes While Viewing Eclipse

Do not look directly at the eclipse as it could damage your eyesight. Instead, use special “eclipse glasses”, that are available at many area retailers. You can also make your own “pinhole projector” out of a box. Google “pinhole projector box, eclipse” for details.

Great Public Information Viewing Areas

Rutherford County Library System’s Technology and Outreach Coordinator Trey Gwinn told WGNS that Linebaugh and Smyrna branches of the local library will provide information about the eclipse while it is happening, and the Technology Engagement Center on Minerva Dr. will offer an in-depth viewing event. The public is encouraged to attend.

Gwinn was on WGNS and encourage the public to check with their branch to see what was being offered. There are many programs--including a special storytime for children as well as others that include more scientific data. In addition, eclipse glasses are being offered (while supplies last).

He noted, "You need to be there by 12:30PM as the eclipse begins at 12:45PM.” 

In addition, the Middle Tennessee State University Department of Physics and Astronomy will open the observatory for two hours from 12:45-2:45 p.m. during the eclipse, weather permitting. The observatory is located along the sidewalk that circles the heart of the university (Old Main Circle). It is between the Wiser-Patten Science Hall and Smith Hall dormitory.

The Physics and Astronomy Department will provide eclipse glasses (as available) or people can bring their own protective eyewear. The observatory telescope has protective filters.

MTSU Astronomy Club students will be available to answer questions.

VIEW IN MURFREESBORO AREA: The partial eclipse starts at 12:44PM. and ends at 3:20PM for Murfreesboro residents. Maximum darkness occurs at 2:01PM. Murfreesboro will have 93 percent totality compared to 100 percent totality a few hundred miles away, covering states from Texas to Maine (see the NASA map with this story). Below shows NASA’s cities nearest us that are in the “eclipse path”.


Partial Begins

Totality Begins


Totality Ends

Partial Ends

Dallas, Texas

12:23 p.m. CDT

1:40 p.m. CDT

1:42 p.m. CDT

1:44 p.m. CDT

3:02 p.m. CDT

Idabel, Oklahoma

12:28 p.m. CDT

1:45 p.m. CDT

1:47 p.m. CDT

1:49 p.m. CDT

3:06 p.m. CDT

Little Rock, Arkansas

12:33 p.m. CDT

1:51 p.m. CDT

1:52 p.m. CDT

1:54 p.m. CDT

3:11 p.m. CDT

Poplar Bluff, Missouri

12:39 p.m. CDT

1:56 p.m. CDT

1:56 p.m. CDT

2:00 p.m. CDT

3:15 p.m. CDT

Paducah, Kentucky

12:42 p.m. CDT

2:00 p.m. CDT

2:01 p.m. CDT

2:02 p.m. CDT

3:18 p.m. CDT

Amateur Radio

Ham radio operators (also known as “amateur radio”) are working in two ways with the government. One is on the scientific side to test the effect of an eclipse on radio propagation. During periods of “solar flares” and “sunspot activity”, the distance of two-way radio communications is often dramatically increased.

The American Radio Relay Leage (ARRL) is coordinating efforts with ham radio operators to charts this data.

The other way “ham radio” will help is in the event emergency situations arise along the path of the “eclipse”. Amateur radio is an instant source of communications in areas where the population of a community is suddenly greater than that geographic infrastructure can handle (roadways, restrooms, food, police, etc.).

There are small communities along the eclipse path that will see their populations double and triple on Monday.

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