This Western Kentucky gem may not be on your radar, but this small town is making a huge splash in the news recently. Curious? Us too.
You may have heard about the total solar eclipse that will occur on August 21st. A total solar eclipse is a special astrological event where the sun disappears behind the moon during the daylight hours and it turns out that one southern town, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, has some truly spectacular bragging rights: It’s home to the “point of greatest eclipse.”
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“Hopkinsville is so special for this total solar eclipse is because we’ve been designated by NASA as the point of greatest eclipse, which means we’re at the point where the moon is closest to the earth,” explains Brooke Jung, Solar Eclipse Marketing and Events Consultant for the City of Hopkinsville.
Jung was so passionate about the eclipse that she wrote the town’s mayor explaining the necessity for creating the job she now holds. “We’re the point where the sun, moon, and earth all align the most perfectly...The moon [will completely] block out the sun and we’re left with that beautiful diamond ring.”
While the predicted “path of totality” for the big day weaves its way across the states from Oregon to South Carolina (Columbia, Anderson, and Greenwood are among a few of the lucky towns on the path in the Palmetto State), Hopkinsville is the absolute most ideal spot to view the rare occurrence.
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This eclipse is special in general because it’s the first time in 99 years that an eclipse has gone from coast to coast in the United States. “The length of duration depends on where you watch in relationship to the path of totality, and so we will have two minutes and 40.1 seconds of darkness. That is among the longest within a fraction of a second,” Jung added. Those watching from Hopkinsville can expect the eclipse to occur at 1:24PM CST.
And hordes are predicted to flock to Hopkinsville for this picture-perfect alignment. Currently, Jung and her team anticipate up to 100,000 tourists — no drop in the jar for a community that clocks in around 70,000 residents — and they’re also predicting around $30 million in economic impact.
Meanwhile, if you can’t make it to Hopkinsville for this feast for your eyes in person, pick up a bottle of Casey’s Cut Total Eclipse Moonshine and bring along to your own viewing festivities. To celebrate the astrological phenomenon, the local distillery actually sent the corn into space (yes, you read that right) before brewing up their smooth, high-proof libation.
For more information, check out the cleverly dubbed eclipseville.com website and plan your vacation today!