Clarksville, Tennessee lies directly in the path of the Great American Eclipse that occurs on August 21, 2017. This rare astronomical occurrence will only be visible in a 60-mile-wide path across the United States, and the epicenter will pass barely North of Clarksville!
There are many different types of eclipses: total solar, partial solar, annular, and lunar, to name just a few. Partial eclipses are pretty common, and you may have seen one or more of these, but a total solar eclipse is extremely rare.
During a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and the earth, blocking the sun completely from view. The sky appears dark, except for a small amount of light from sun’s outer atmosphere, known as the corona.
Observers in Clarksville will see approximately 2:18 of total darkness beginning at 1:30pm Central Standard Time, according to NASA on eclipse2017.org.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience is the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States since 1979, and the first coast-to-coast total eclipse in 98 years. The whole event will last over an hour as the sun is slowly covered by the moon, and the world slowly returns to day light.
WARNING: Do not watch the eclipse with your bare eyes. It will damage your vision. Nasa offers more safety tips here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety
Eclipses have been around as long as the Earth has been in the sky. Ancient civilizations had all sorts of explanations for them, and all kinds of rituals to harken the daylight back.
While we haven’t lost our interest in eclipses, society certainly has changed how we behave around them… Gone are the days of sacrificing people and animals to appease unseen forces, replaced by viewing parties, cookouts, and celebrations.
Clarksville is hosting lots of events to celebrate the eclipse on August 21st and our town will be flooded with tourists here to watch the skies. Some of the celebrations are noted below.
Austin Peay State University
Marion & Henry Streets
Clarksville, Tennessee is the only city near the centerline of the eclipse that boasts a significant astronomy program, and Austin Peay State University is stepping up. Check their website for details and pre-eclipse programs.
Fortera Stadium at the University will be open to the public at 11:30am for viewing. parking is $5 and each vehicle will receive a free pair of viewing glasses. For more information, visit www.apsu.edu/eclipse
APSU’s Kids Education Fair – PeayClipse Educational Experience
320 Drane St
Austin Peay State University is hosting an event for children from 3 – 15 years old. The University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty will be available to help everyone get the most out of this event. Attendees will be able to make their own sundial and projector systems, and enjoy 10 different activity stations. There will also be an inflatable solar system experience, a space education table, solar robots, and more. Attendees will go over to Fortera Stadium together at 12:15pm to watch the eclipse. For more information, see: http://www.apsu.edu/eclipse
1188 Cumberland Drive
Liberty Park is hosting a viewing party that begins at 8:00am. Guest speakers from Austin Peay State University will be on hand to educate and point out significant occurrences. Eyewear is required. Attendance, parking, and seating are on a first come, first served basis. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/277504449362817/
The Pinnacle Family Entertainment Center
430 Warfield Boulevard
If you want to watch the solar eclipse from one of the highest points in Clarksville, make your way to the Pinnacle Family Entertainment Center. Reservations are required, and your entry fee includes four pairs of protective viewing glasses, two commemorative eclipse shirts, an hour of cosmic bowling, and 50% off any food purchase at the All-Star Grill. To reserve your spot, visit: www.pinnaclebowl.com
Clarksville Regional Airport (CKV- Outlaw Field)
200 Airport Road
Clarksville Regional Airport will offer an unobstructed view of the total eclipse. Visitors are welcome from noon – 3:00pm. Admission is free and parking will be available in the paved lot in front of the terminal, and in the grassy area to the right of the main entrance. Food trucks will be on hand selling quick bites and drinks. For more details, see:
Beachaven Vineyards & Winery
100 Dunlop Lane
Beachaven Vineyards & Winery is offering private reserved spaces for tour buses and the public to watch the eclipse from 11:00am – 5:00pm. Public spaces are $50 each and include a 15 x 15 space (seats 4 people comfortably), free parking, four pairs of commemorative eclipse viewing glasses, and live music. Food trucks and activities for the kids will be on site. A limited supply of commemorative Blackberry Blackout sparkling wine will also be available for purchase. Tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/solar-eclipse-viewing-party-tickets-28186066283
Old Glory Distilling Company
451 Alfred Thun Road
Old Glory Distilling Company will be hosting an All American Total Solar Eclipse Party on the distillery grounds, from 9:00am until 4:00pm. VIP lawn space is available for $75 and includes a 15 x 15 space, one special recipe limited-edition bottle of Solar Shine, four pairs of solar eclipse viewing glasses, a commemorative All-American Solar Eclipse t-shirt, a parking pass, and four drink wristbands for attendees 21 and older. Larger groups may reserve multiple spaces. Coolers are allowed, but outside alcohol is prohibited. Details are online at: http://bit.ly/2wTlaWl
Bible Baptist Church
3102 Prospect Circle
The Bible Baptist Church is hosting a free event from 10:00am – 5:00pm, with parking offered on a first come, first served basis. Approximately 100 paved parking spaces will be available for handicapped guests. There will be activities for children, and hot dogs, snow cones, water and soda will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Bible Baptist Church youth group. No alcohol will be permitted at this event.
Roxy Regional Theatre Eclipse Party
100 Franklin Street
The Roxy Regional Theatre Eclipse Party and Cookout begins at 11:30am and runs until 3:00pm. Here, you can enjoy hotdogs, burgers and all of the fixings, and a Bloody Mary Bar while music from Murph & The Starliters serenades you. Admission is $50 and includes viewing glasses, and access to telescopes and binoculars with solar filters. Want to learn more about the eclipse before the viewing? Be sure to attend the pre-eclipse talk with guest speaker Dr. John Stanton on Sunday, August 20, at 6:00pm. For more information, visit www.roxyregionaltheatre.org
For up-to-date eclipse news visit: http://clarksvillenow.com/local/categories/solar-eclipse/