2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Nebraska
On August 21, 2017, the path of a total solar eclipse with cross diagonally over the entire length of the state of Nebraska. The entire state will experience at least a 98% solar eclipse, meaning that 98% of the sun will be hidden from view, casting a large shadow over the state. Anyone within the path of totality (shown below) will be able to witness a total solar eclipse for about one to two and a half minutes.
Be Prepared and Enjoy Safely!
You MUST wear eye protection unless the total solar eclipse is over you. Even if a sliver of the sun is still visible, it can permanently damage your eyes.
The number of visitors along the eclipse's path may be in the hundreds of thousands, coming from other parts of Nebraska, surrounding states, and all over the world. Lodging and camping locations may already be filled. A large amount of vehicle traffic may be coming into the area on the day of the eclipse. Depending on weather conditions, people may also be travelling around to get the best view away from clouds.
Communities large and small are holding events the weekend prior to and the day of the eclipse. These are the best and safest places for viewing.
Transportation Safety Information and Tips
- Rest areas may be busy. Be considerate of fellow travelers and view the eclipse from another location so that others have a chance to use the facilities as needed.
- If you are driving during the total eclipse, be prepared. The sky will become dark as twilight for up to 2½ minutes. Watch for distracted drivers. Do not try to view the eclipse from behind the wheel.
- Plan ahead. Traffic volumes will be higher than normal and may be congested in particular areas. Visitors and residents will need to be patient as people come and go. Make sure there is plenty of time to get where you need to go.
- Late August in Nebraska can be hot and dry. Visitors should be prepared to bring water and other supplies with them. Local communities will be welcoming, but may not be equipped to handle the sudden influx of people.
- Once the eclipse is over, anticipate high traffic volumes as viewers may be leaving all at once. Nebraska has a well-maintained and extensive highway system to accommodate everyone. Eclipse viewers should also keep an eye out for work zones.
- Don’t stop along the interstate and no parking on the shoulder.
- Please exit the highway to stop and view and/or photograph the solar eclipse.
- Don’t take photographs while driving.
- Turn your headlights on and do not rely on your auto headlights.
- Watch out for extra pedestrians along smaller roads. People may be randomly parking and walking alongside roads in the hour before the total eclipse to get the best viewing.
- Prepare for extra congestion especially on the interstates in the path on the day before, day of and day after the eclipse.
- Don’t wear “eclipse glasses” while you’re driving.
- Avoid travel during the eclipse or in the area of the main path if you can.
- Check traffic conditions on at www.511.nebraska.gov or through the Nebraska 511 app available for download for android and apple devices.
Solar Eclipse Basics
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun. The moon's path crosses in front of the sun, casting a shadow on Earth.
This celestial event will block all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.1