January 18, 2017

CARTERVILLE — The Great American Eclipse, as it is known, is coming through the John A. Logan College District and Professor Mik Sawicki wants area residents to know what exactly is headed their way.

Because of the “eclipse craze,” Sawicki is teaching a new Community Education course at John A. Logan College titled “Come Learn The Basics of What’s Coming Through Southern Illinois.”

The path of the eclipse has been determined and highly publicized around the world. Murphysboro, Makanda, Carbondale, Carterville, Marion — all within the College district — are all some of the best places on earth to see the eclipse, Sawicki points out.

Sawicki noted that persons who are in the path of the total solar eclipse will see what will be one of the most phenomenal sights the human eye can convey to the brain. It will take special eclipse glasses to view it safely.

The astronomical phenomenon — which takes place August 21 — has put Southern Illinois on an international stage. People and media from around the world, along with officials from NASA and countless astronomers are expected to converge on the area to witness it.

Totality is expected around 1:21 p.m., partial phases of the eclipse start at 11:52 a.m., and end at 2:47 p.m.

According to Sawicki, students who enroll in his Eclipse 101 course will learn how solar eclipses happen, how often they occur, and how long they last. There will also be a question and answer session to give students the opportunity to ask any questions they may have about the upcoming event.

There is a $5 fee with the class.

Students may enroll in any of the following courses beginning Thursday, Jan. 26; beginning Thursday Feb. 23; beginning Thursday March 23; or beginning Thursday April 27.

Dr. Barry Hancock, dean for Community Education at John A. Logan College, said he believes Sawicki’s class will be a huge benefit to anyone in the College district who would like to get a better understanding of an eclipse and how big of an event it will be in Southern Illinois.

“The number of people from around the world coming to our area to view the eclipse is expected to be incredible,” Hancock said. “The fact that John A. Logan College is in its path and one of the best places to view it is also incredible. It certainly appears that the people in our College district are in for something very special taking place.”