The crux of the eclipses: Little Egypt’s seven-year itch

A reservoir near Carbondale, Illinois is about to experience the first of two Totalities in 2017, before another in 2024

If you stand in one place on Earth for 360 years, you will, on average, see one Total Solar Eclipse. The law of averages, however, breaks down completely over the next seven years as the town of Carbondale, Illinois in the USA will experience two blackouts in that short period.

Why does the Carbondale area – referred to as ‘Little Egypt’ (why?) – get such a celestial jackpot? Not only will the USA experience a Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, but another will sweep through seven years later on on April 8, 2024. Carbondale is close to the point of greatest duration, and at 13:20 p.m. CDT Totality will last for 2 minutes and 38 seconds. In 2024, it’s over 4 minutes, but the chances of having a clear view of Totality is much greater in 2017 since the 2024 event occurs during a typically cloudy part of the year.

The 2017 and 2024 eclipses have very different paths, but they intersect near the Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky state border.

The exact point place where the 2017 and 2024 Lines of Totality cross is Cedar Lake in Jackson County, just south of Carbondale. So if you put yourself near the water – on even in a boat on it – for Totality in 2017, you could return there in seven years for a repeat.

August 21, 2017 – USA (Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wyoming)

April 8, 2024 – Mexico, USA (Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, New York & Vermont), Canada (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick & Newfoundland)

(Photo credit: nathanmac87 via