Thousands Flock to View Solar Eclipse

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Several Clay Countians traveled north to nearby cities to experience the total eclipse of the sun on Monday, Aug. 21. This photo was taken at the moment of totality in Paducah, Ky., where thousands went to parks and downtown areas to witness this thrilling gift of nature, which inspired cheers and, for some, even tears. Piggott and Rector residents also went outdoors with their safety eclipse glasses to experience the 97 percent coverage here, but folks will get their chance to see totality when the next solar eclipse travels directly through this area on April 8, 2024.
TD photo/Nancy Kemp

Despite a few clouds, and even a brief rainshower, several dozen interested individuals gathered on the courthouse lawn in Piggott around mid-day on Monday to view the partial solar eclipse. On hand with his telescope, and several pair of the special viewing glasses, was NASA Solar System Ambassador Kenneth Renshaw, of Piggott.

Meanwhile, a number of area residents traveled to other regions to view the eclipse—gathering with thousands of others.

During the early stages of the eclipse here in Clay County conditions were near perfect, with clouds rolling in as the moon progressed across the face of the sun. As the eclipse reached its peak the clouds parted momentarily, allowing a brief but spectacular view.

Kenneth Rensaw uses his telescope to reflect the solar eclipse image during Monday's event. He also provided some of the NASA approved viewing glasses to those gathering on the courthouse lawn in Piggott for the eclipse.
TD photo/Tim Blair

In the Piggott area the sun was 95-98 percent blocked by the moon, while locations to the north and east experienced a rate total eclipse.

Renshaw noted total solar eclipses are rare, and usually only happen every 100 years or so. But, he also reported the next will be in April of 2024, and at that time the entire state of Arkansas is expected to be in the area of total eclipse.

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