Solar Eclipse v. Total Solar Eclipse
What's the big deal?

As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks  the Sun. This can happen only at new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses, only part of the Sun is obscured.

If the Moon were in a perfectly circular orbit, a little closer to the Earth, and in the same orbital plane, there would be total solar eclipses every month. However, the Moon’s orbit is inclined (tilted) at more than 5 degrees to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, so its shadow at new moon usually misses Earth. Earth’s orbit is called the ecliptic plane as the Moon’s orbit must cross this plane in order for an eclipse (both solar as well as lunar) to occur. In addition, the Moon’s actual orbit is elliptical, often taking it far enough away from Earth that its apparent size is not large enough to block the Sun totally. The orbital planes cross each other at a line of nodes resulting in at least two, and up to five, solar eclipses occurring each year; no more than two of which can be total eclipses. However, total solar eclipses are rare at any particular location because totality exists only along a narrow path on the Earth’s surface traced by the Moon’s shadow or umbra.

If you are interested in reading more about the Solar Eclipse view the source at

Image from NASA (

Ravenna and Kearney Working Together

On August 21st, 2017 Ravenna and Kearney will be on the center line of totality to view a TOTAL Solar Eclipse.

This will be the first total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 38 years. The next total solar eclipse will be in 2024. However, the line of totality (the line in which you need to be on in order to see the sun become completely blacked out) has never in recorded history gone through Nebraska and it is unsure when it might happen again.

Everyone in the U.S. will see at least a partial eclipse, but you want to be on the line of totality and Ravenna is exactly on that line and Kearney isn’t far off! IT’S ALL ABOUT TOTALITY! It doesn’t matter if the partial eclipse above your location is 50% or even 98%. Only totality (100%) reveals the true blacked out celestial spectacle: the diamond ring, the sun’s glorious corona, the strange colors in the sky and it being so dark you can see the stars in the daytime.

Now let’s talk about the duration of totality. For Ravenna the sun will be completely blacked out for 2 min and 35 seconds… not far behind the maximum duration of 2 min and 40 seconds. Kearney’s duration of totality will be 1 minute and 54 seconds…. also amazing. This is another reason why people from all over the world will be drawn to Ravenna and Kearney for this viewing event! On August 21, 2017 the partial phase start for Ravenna will be at 11:33:22 AM (CDT) and Totality will start at 12:57:21 PM (CDT) and again will last for 2 min and 35 seconds. For Kearney the partial phase start will be 11:33:03AM (CDT) and Totality will start at 12:57:30PM (CDT) and will last 1 minute 54 seconds.

It is estimated that 5,000 to 15,000 solar eclipse seekers will flock to Ravenna and Kearney from all over the world to view this extraordinary event. As crazy as it sounds, it will happen regardless.

That is why the Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kearney Visitors Bureau are partnering for this event. The two communities will work together to plan events in both Kearney and Ravenna for the whole weekend of Friday, August 18th through Monday, August 21st (the actual day of the eclipse).

The two communities have already been jointly awarded a $15,000 grant from the Nebraska Tourism Commission for marketing. They have a comprehensive plan to put that money to good use and market this event properly. This partnership works well because Ravenna obviously cannot house and feed this many people for a weekend. Marketing will highlight Kearney’s lodging, restaurant and shopping opportunities as well as the once in a lifetime viewing event in Ravenna. We will market everything we have to offer in our great town of Ravenna, but with our businesses easily being overflowed, we need to make sure people know their options.

Find out more on what Ravenna and Kearney are doing for the total solar eclipse using the links below. You can also check out the calendar of events for both communities on our calendar using the link below.