August 21, 2017 will bring the first total solar eclipse observable from the continental U.S. in about 40 years. Astronomers may want to get a move on with booking a place to stay to view the solar eclipse this year, because hotels are filling up fast in areas with a good view.
Several states have gathered attention for being prime viewing spots for the eclipse. Xavier Jubier, whose map of the eclipse path has been used by NASA, predicts that Kentucky’s totality (when the sun is entirely covered by the moon) will be the longest at 2 minutes and 40 seconds. In Casper, Riverton and Jackson, Wyoming, onlookers will have a 2 minute and 25 second view. And for those who would prefer to experience the view in the outdoors, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will see totality for about 2 minutes and 39 seconds.
Wyoming has done its best to put itself on the top of the list for eclipse spectators. Many of its hotels have planned special activities for guests in town for the solar eclipse. The Wind River Hotel and Casino in Riverton will host a Native American Arapaho eclipse ceremony. In Jackson, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole will have a private viewing party with their own astrology team, or viewers may instead opt to camp out for the event in the Grand Teton National Park.
Top photo by Takeshi Kuboki, CC BY 2.0
Lead photo by Hiroki ONO, CC BY 2.0
Madison Gable is a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia.