Environment
1:01 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Want to Experience the Longest Possible Solar Eclipse in 2017? Head to Hopkinsville

On August 21, 2017, Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be the place to be.

That's because on that date, the total solar eclipse of the sun will last longer in Hopkinsville than anywhere else in the world. Of course, it'll still only last about two minutes and 40 seconds. But as the Associated Press reports, the area is already seeing a boost in tourism from people who are planning five years in advance.

Already, local motels are hearing from people wanting to witness the spectacle.

At the Hampton Inn & Suites, eclipse chasing groups from Germany and Japan have reserved more than two dozen rooms, said Jeff Smith, the inn's general manager.

Smith said it's a sign of the frenzy to come.

"It will be the largest event that this community has ever seen," he said.

Local officials started a Facebook page promoting the event. And they coined a slogan, promoting the eclipse as "the most exciting two minutes and 40 seconds in astronomy" — playing off the Derby's claim as the most exiting two minutes in sports.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes in between the earth and the sun, casting a lunar shadow over the sun.

The eclipse will be visible at least partially in most areas around the United States. And, of course, if you're planning on taking a look it's a good idea to wear protective glasses.

UPDATE: I just got an email from Terena Bell who says the epicenter of the eclipse is actually at her family farm, which is near Cerulean (about 15 miles away from Hopkinsville).