Photo of a solar eclipse

Everything You Need to Know About Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 in Tennessee

Everyone’s been talking about the upcoming total solar eclipse 2017. And who can blame them? Although a solar eclipse occurs more often than one would think, it’s rare for it to affect and be seen by so many people.

When will it happen?

August 21, 2017 will be the day the solar eclipse takes place. Sevier County, which is where Gatlinburg is, is in the area of totality. This means that this area of Tennessee will see a total solar eclipse. The exact time the eclipse will take place is around 2:35 p.m. EST. The total eclipse is estimated to last about 1 minute and 17 seconds. The best place to see the total solar eclipse will be in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Do I need to wear anything specific for the eclipse?

Yes. To view the total solar eclipse 2017 in Tennessee in its entirety, you will need NASA approved eyewear. The light from the sun peeking around the moon is detrimental to your vision, so make sure to have appropriate eyewear for the occasion. However, according to NASA, when the eclipse reaches totality, you can look directly at the sun for just a few brief moments. Just make sure to put your protective eyewear back on to watch the rest of the eclipse.

a field in Cades Cove bathed in golden afternoon sunlightWhere is the best place to view the eclipse in the Smokies?

The best places to see the total solar eclipse 2017 in Tennessee is at Cades Cove’s Cable Mill and Oconaluftee Visitor Center. These locations will give free guided viewings of the total solar eclipse, but make sure to get there early enough to get a good spot to view the eclipse! Cades Cove opens daily at sunrise, so you could make an entire day of it. So pack a picnic lunch and hike some of the trails after you see the eclipse.

How often do total solar eclipses occur?

On average, about every 18 months, or twice in the span of about 3 years, you can see a total eclipse somewhere on Earth. The reason the 2017 solar eclipse is so talked about is because of the sheer number of people that will be able to see it. It will cut a diagonal line across the United States from Oregon to Georgia. So a good chunk of the population on the continental U.S. will be able to see the eclipse, while a smaller number will be able to see the total eclipse.

What is a total solar eclipse?

Contrary to what our superstitious ancestors thought, a total solar eclipse is a natural occurrence. It happens when the moon, which orbits around Earth, moves in front of the sun during the day. It usually doesn’t last long, a few minutes for totality, before the sun and moon will got back to normal. In theory, it’s the opposite of how the sun and moon work. In laymen’s terms, the moon reflects the light of the sun at night. So during a solar eclipse, it blocks the sun’s light from the Earth for a brief period of time.

Where to Stay to View the EclipsePorch of Bear Right Inn cabin in Pigeon Forge

Our cabins in Pigeon Forge are the perfect place for you to stay to see the total eclipse. Plan a long weekend to enjoy all the area has to offer as well as the natural phenomena. So plan your trip now to see this once in a lifetime event!

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