Experience the Eclipse

in Arkansas

Stay and Play…Through Night and Day!

Arkansas is known as “The Natural State” for many reasons…and on October 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024, it will be due to two natural phenomenon taking place in our skies. October 14, 2023, much of Arkansas will experience approximately 90 minutes of a partial eclipse, although the state will not be directly in the path of annularity.

On April 8, 2024, Arkansas is in the enviable position of having the “path of totality” of the Great North American Eclipse run diagonally across the state. During the Great North American Eclipse on April 8, 2024, the longest span of darkness will be four minutes and 28.13 seconds. In Arkansas, the longest time of darkness will be approximately four minutes and 20 seconds. Although that might not sound like much time, it’s nearly twice as long as the darkness during the 2017 eclipse.

Make plans to come before the eclipse and stay afterwards…avoid the traffic jams and enjoy the beauty and the fun of The Natural State!

Eclipse FAQs

Learn more about the 2024 Great American Eclipse in Arkansas

What is a total solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse takes place when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), “a total solar eclipse is not noticeable until the sun is more than 90 percent covered by the moon. At 99 percent coverage, daytime lighting resembles local twilight.”

What is the path of totality?

The path of totality is, in the simplest terms, the shadow of the moon crossing the earth. It’s the area where you can see the moon fully cover the sun. During the Great North American Eclipse of 2024, Arkansas’s path of totality includes nearly 2/3 of the state.

What is a partial eclipse?

A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and earth, but the sun, moon and earth are not perfectly aligned. Only a portion the sun will appear to be covered, giving it a crescent shape.

Where in Arkansas is the best place to experience the eclipse in April 2024?

Nearly 2/3 of Arkansas will be in the path of totality. The closer you are to the center of the line of totality, the longer the time of darkness. How do you want to experience the eclipse…on the water, in an urban setting, in a remote area, at a state park or at a museum offering special activities? Arkansas offers eclipse visitors a vast choice of locations to experience this solar event. Hang out with thousands of other gazers or find a secluded spot to enjoy the eclipse alone. The Natural State has a variety of areas and landscapes to choose from. Just remember you’ll want to be somewhere the sky is not obscured by buildings or trees.

What is the difference between a full solar eclipse and a partial eclipse?

In a partial eclipse, the sun is only “partially” obscured and not completely blocked by the moon.

Will I need special glasses to watch the eclipse?

Absolutely yes! If you’re watching the event, either the total eclipse or the partial, and want to look at the sun, you must have specific glasses or viewers. They must be ISO 12312-2 certified, which is the international safety standard for filters for direct viewing of the sun. In 2017, online companies were selling “counterfeit” eclipse glasses. It is imperative to know that your glasses are safe. Sunglasses and welding visors are not safe. The only time that it is safe to view the eclipse with the naked eye is during the time of full totality of the sun.

What should I expect during the eclipse?

Whether in the full path of totality or in the partial eclipse, certain things will happen. The sun will be obscured in Arkansas at least 94% across the state. The temperature will drop. Here’s a great article on how the “natural” world “reacts” during a solar eclipse. https://www.rainbowsymphony.com/blogs/blog/what-are-the-effects-of-a-solar-eclipse-on-plants-animals

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Dark Skies Above

Arkansas is a “natural” for those looking to enjoy the beauty of a night sky. In larger cities, that may mean heading to a more remote location without lighting. In smaller communities you can just walk outside your front door and gaze upon the heavens. In other words, the less lighting the better your chance of seeing stars, planets and constellations.

In 2019, the Buffalo National River was named the state’s first International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. The Association is the recognized authority for night sky protection and works with governments, communities and city planners to help reduce impacts to natural night skies where possible. The park’s work to promote the protection of Buffalo National River’s natural nighttime environment as a resource to be enjoyed by visitors is what inspired the designation. This designation does not restrict or control lighting in local communities or on private property within the park. Click here to learn more about the park’s prestigious designation.  

In The Natural State, another great choice for stargazing is one of our 52 Arkansas State Parks. In fact, many of the parks offer interpretive programs geared toward astronomy.