By now, I'm sure you've heard all the buzz about the upcoming solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st. For the 2017 eclipse, there is a strip of land about 70 miles wide or so (called the "path of totality") that stretches from central Oregon through South Carolina. In Illinois, that path is through the bottom fourth of the state.

So, in order for those of us here in Northern Illinois to catch the "full" eclipse rather than a "partial" eclipse, we've got at least 3 hours of driving to do to get ourselves in the path of totality.

The website is chock-full of great information about the upcoming eclipse, even featuring a list of Illinois cities and towns in the path:

Here are links to pages for all the communities we could find in Illinois that are in the eclipse path! (We are posting information for each city's page as we receive it; your patience is appreciated!!)

Akin Cypress Harrisburg New Burnside Sparta
Alto Pass De Soto Hecker New Grand Chain Spillertown
Anna Dongola Herod North City St. Johns
Ava Dowell Herrin Oakdale St. Libory
Balcom Du Quoin Hurst Old Shawneetown Steeleville
Baldwin Dupo Imbs Olive Branch Stolle
Belknap E Cape Girardeau Johnston City Olmsted Stonefort
Benton East Carondelet Jonesboro Orient Sunfield
Bluffside Eddyville Joppa Ozark Swanwick
Brookport Eden Junction Percy Tamaroa
Brownfield Elco Karnak Pinckneyville Tamms
Buckner Eldorado Kaskaskia Pittsburg Thebes
Buncombe Elizabethtown Ledford Pomona Thompsonville
Bush Elkville Lenzburg Prairie du Rocher Tilden
Cahokia Ellis Grove Lick Creek Pulaski Tunnel Hill
Cambria Energy Maeystown Pyatts Ullin
Campbell Hill Equality Makanda Raleigh Valier
Carbondale Evansville Marion Red Bud Valmeyer
Carrier Mills Fayetteville Marissa Reevesville Vergennes
Carterville Floraville McCormick Ridgway Vienna
Cave-in-Rock Freeburg Metropolis Roachtown Ware
Chester Freeman Spur Mill Creek Robbs Wasson
Christopher Fults Miller City Rockwood Waterloo
Cobden Galatia Millstadt Rosiclare West City
Colp Golconda Mitchellsville Royalton West Frankfort
Columbia Goreville Mound City Ruma Westview
Coulterville Gorham Mounds Sesser White Ash
Crainville Grand Tower Muddy Shawneetown Whiteash
Creal Springs Hamletsburg Murphysboro Simpson Willisville
Cutler Hanaford New Athens Smithton Zeigler

One of the most frequent questions they've gotten is whether or not those of us who don't live in the path of totality will actually see anything cool. Here's their response:

NO!!! You have to be IN the path of totality, or all you'll see (with your solar viewers, of course) is a partial eclipse! Those are pretty common, and are absolutely nothing to see, compared with the beauty of totality. If you get nothing from this at all, please get this: you MUST be IN the path of totality to experience the glory of a total eclipse! If where you are is not in the path of totality, then move yourself into it on eclipse day, and you will come away understanding what we were talking about! Miss it, and you'll miss everything; you'll have no idea what all the people who WERE in the path are raving about the day after, and you will have missed it! The pictures you'll see in the newspaper and on TV will be NOTHING compared to the experience of having been there! Do NOT miss out!