Eclipse over Kentucky: As found from the NASA interactive eclipse map, the Moon’s shadow along the centerline crosses the Ohio River to the northwest of Hampton, Kentucky at 1:22:04 PM Central Daylight Time (18:22:04 Universal Time). Totality lasts 2 minutes, 40.2 seconds and the path of totality is 71.3 miles wide.
The path of totality passes near Paducah, the largest city in western Kentucky. The point of greatest eclipse is outside of Cerulean, a town near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The point of greatest eclipse is the global centerpoint of the eclipse event, the point on the globe where the axis of the Moon’s shadow most closely aligns with the center of the Earth. At the point of greatest eclipse, totality begins at 1:24:12 PM, and lasts for 2 minutes, 40.1 seconds… 1/10th of a second shorter than the point of greatest duration 90 miles away in Illinois!
Along the centerline, the lunar umbra passes over 98 miles of the state of Kentucky in the span of 6 minutes, 45 seconds, at an average speed of 1440 miles per hour, or 1.89 times the speed of sound.
The Moon’s shadow along the centerline crosses the Tennessee border near Keysburg, Kentucky at 1:28:47 PM CDT (18:28:47 UT). At Keysburg, the duration of totality is 2 minutes, 40 seconds and the path of totality at the eastern border is 71.8 miles wide.
NOTE: Duration of totality is longest along the centerline. Duration of totality approaches ZERO near the edges of the path of totality. Please consult the NASA interactive eclipse map for precise times and durations of totality at each specific location in the state, along with locals times for the beginning and ending of the partial eclipse phases.
Lodging: As with all locations along the path, hotel reservations will fill up well in advance. Plan instead to tent camp or rent an RV. While there are many commercial and public campgrounds, primitive camping is inexpensive in the National Parks and free in the National Forests.
Visit the following in Kentucky: Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
KY Lake Resort & RV Park in Gilbertsville, KY is the perfect spot for the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse, very near the centerline of totality, less than 1/2 mile from the KY Dam. They are opening most of their 50 acre property to rustic tent camping to include use of our bath house and our toilets. Everyone who stays with us will receive one pair of Solar Eclipse Shades per reservation and one Commemorative Pin. There will be entertainment Sunday afternoon with the option to purchase burgers, dogs, sodas and water and Sunday night the owners will host a s’mores night camp fire event as a way to say thank you to our out of town guest.
Traffic Concerns: In the event of any last-minute, impromptu eclipse day trippers, there might be a lot of traffic heading south and west from eastern Kentucky, Indiana, eastern Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania. There are about 20 million people within an eight-hour drive from Hopkinsville. These drivers will funnel down from I-65, 75 and 71 onto I-64. There will probably not be a volume of traffic from the south, since southern travelers might stay in Tennessee, unless attracted to the point of greatest eclipse.
Weather: According to the Eclipsophile site, based on meteorological averages, western Kentucky should have higher risk of afternoon clouds than more westerly points along the eclipse path. However, according to Carter Hendricks, Mayor of Hopkinsville, the third week of August has long been known to local farmers as the reliably driest week of the year in western Kentucky.
Planning Your Kentucky Eclipse Vacation: Please read the resources on our Be Prepared! page for finding opportunities for overnight lodging at your Kentucky eclipse viewing destination. Hopkinsville has been planning for Eclipse Day for over a decade, and has a variety of special events planned for eclipse visitors. The “Kelly Green Man” festival is held every year at this time, to celebrate a famous “UFO encounter” in this area in 1955. Nearby Mammoth Cave has long been a popular tourist destination. Check out Kentucky Tourism for more information on planning your Kentucky eclipse vacation.
Organized Eclipse Events in Kentucky:
Visit Hopkinsville – The City of Hopkinsville, Kentucky has been planning their Eclipse Day festivities for a decade. An expanding list of eclipse information and resources is available at the this website.
Total Solar Eclipse, Franklin, KY – Lots of eclipse-related events are planned by Franklin-Simpson County Tourism. Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party in Franklin, KY is located at the Franklin Drive-In. Admission $5 per car load. Narration by Tom Mason, Telescope Operator of the 60″ & 100″ Historic Telescopes at Mt Wilson Observatory (Mtwilson.edu) in the mountains above Pasadena, CA. Telescopes will be set up for close-up viewing and cell phone photography of solar eclipse. Projection of eclipse onto a large screen. Car Parking with concessions including burgers, drinks, ice cream and candy. Eclipse glasses for sale. Contact Franklin-Simpson Tourism for more information 270-586-3040. Evening activities are planned for the nights before and after the eclipse, including dinner parties, astronomy lectures and night sky observing.
Kentucky’s Solar Eclipse – This website provides an overview of viewing the eclipse from various locations in Kentucky.
KY Lake Resort and RV Park – WE are super excited to be announce that we will be in the perfect spot to host guest for the August 21 2017 Solar Eclipse Day. MY name is Tamie Tyra I am the Seasonal Office Manager at the Ky Lake Resort & RV Park in Gilbertsville Ky. We are less than 1/2 mile from the Ky Dam. We have a very few rooms still available and just a few more RV sites. We are opening most of our 50 acre property to rustic tent camping to include use of our bath house and our toilets. Everyone who stays with us will receive one pair of Solar Eclipse Shades per reservation and one Commemorative Pin (we are ordering both from your store). As we are still in the early planning phase of the event at this time we have a plan to have entertainment Sunday afternoon with the option to purchase burgers, dogs, sodas and water and Sunday night the owners will host a Smores night camp fire event as a way to say thank you to our out of town guest.
This list is a work in progress! Please contact us if you know of any other Kentucky eclipse events!