Gem Over the Prairie

Grand Island is one of the best places to see the total solar eclipse of 2017 with more than two-and-a-half minutes of totality and very good chances for sunny summer skies. Local groups are pulling together to organize a viewing location which will likely be on the south edge of the city very near the center line, where the duration of totality will be the longest.

Gem Over the Prairie refers to both the location of the local event, Stuhr Museum and their recent capital campaign, and the diamond ring effect observed during a total eclipse. Interpreters at Stuhr Museum’s Railroad Town will respond to the eclipse in 1890s form. Basic services such as bathrooms and food vendors will be on the grounds the day of the eclipse. The partners will provide eclipse viewing glasses before and during the event. 

Grand Island averages 225 sunny days a year according to the National Climatic Data Center. The odds of clear viewing from Grand Island are approximately 70-75%. Many people will believe they've seen a total eclipse before, or that a deep partial eclipse is close enough. However, the most spectacular eclipse phenomena (corona, surrounding twilight, etc) happens only during a total eclipse. The difference between a total eclipse and a partial eclipse is night and day – literally!

How Rare are total solar eclipses?

  • Last total solar eclipse in Grand Island 22 April 1194
  • Next total solar eclipse in Grand Island 31 July 2744
  • Last total solar eclipse in Nebraska 30 June 1954
  • Next total solar eclipse in Nebraska 3 May 2106
  • Last total solar eclipse in continental U.S. 26 February 1979
  • Next total solar eclipse in continental U.S. 8 April 2024
  • Next total solar eclipse visible anywhere on Earth 2 July 2019 (South Pacific, Argentina)
  • Average period of time between total solar eclipses in one spot 380 years
  • Average period of time between total solar eclipses on Earth ~1.3 years (67 in the 21st century)

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Grand Island, 21 Aug 2017 (CDT)
11:34:20am, Partial eclipse begins
12:58:34pm, Total eclipse begins
1:01:09pm, Total eclipse ends
2:26:36pm, Partial eclipse ends

Totality: 2 minutes, 34 seconds