Top 3 Last-Minute Nashville Eclipse Planning Tips - Parthenon Publishing
map illustration of 2017 total solar eclipse path over Tennessee and Kentucky

Top 3 Last-Minute Nashville Eclipse Planning Tips

Nashvillians, the eclipse is this Monday!

If you’ve done nothing else to prepare so far, here are the three things you can still do to make the most of the eclipse:

1. Find the absolute nearest place to watch

The sun will be almost directly overhead as the eclipse occurs in Nashville.

  • If you’re looking for the simplest way to watch, take a few steps outside of your home or office to enjoy it. Done. Next problem.
  • If you’re thinking of trying to find a party to watch the eclipse from, the Nashville tourism board has an extensive list. We recommend picking one of the locations geographically nearest to where you will wake up Monday.

Why not the event across town? You’ve seen Nashville traffic before, but nothing on this scale.

The Department of Transportation advises that roads will be a mess all day Monday on account of this being the largest mass-migration of humans to view a natural event in history.

Beyond all of the additional visitors to the city the event is bringing, during the eclipse itself, there is a significant likelihood there will be multiple accidents that may back up traffic for hours. (For more on why that might happen, click here.)

The best way to avoid being stranded by traffic (or your car possibly being plowed into an inattentive driver during the event), find an event within walking distance of your home or a short bus ride away. Nashville’s MTA schedule will be running as normally as possible Monday.

eclipse shopping cart

2. Shop for food and drinks by Saturday

Whether you’re planning a viewing party or simply want to relax at home with friends, shop for provisions by Saturday at the absolute latest.

If you want to look like you planned something thematic, Moon Pies and Sun Drop are not only thematically linked; they’re about as Tennessee as you can get. (We can report the Belle Meade Kroger is already out of both, so again, get on it!)

Out-of-town visitors may be asking, “What’s wrong with shopping on Sunday?” You can’t buy wine or liquor on Sunday in Tennessee, so plan accordingly.

3. Set two alarms

For those attending an organized event, the organizers should be paying attention to the time.

A screenshot of an iphone with alarms enabled for the eclipse

But if you’ve decided to strike out on your own into nature, or plan on viewing on your break at work, be sure you don’t get distracted and miss the event.

Here is the Nashville eclipse timeline according to

  • The partial eclipse begins in Nashville at 11:58:30 a.m.
    DO NOT look directly at the sun during the partial eclipse!
  • The total eclipse begins at 1:27:21 p.m. and will last around 2 minutes.
    Look directly at the sun’s corona dancing past the moon!

During the partial eclipse:

  • Most viewing events will have eclipse glasses being passed around for viewing
  • You can technically construct a complicated pinhole projector like the ones NASA has plans for online, or
  • If you need to, you can simply poke a small hole in a piece of paper or cardboard and hold it above something flat. The progress of the partial eclipse will be projected for your non-blinding delight and amusement.

Remember: the total eclipse will be the only time you will be able to directly observe the corona of the sun with your eyes — but it will only last about two minutes, so get out there!



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