A solar eclipse is one of nature’s strange spectacles. This brief moment is a perfect opportunity to appreciate our planet’s natural beauty. Arkansas is lucky to be in the path of totality and has some of the best places to view it. Anyone within this path can watch the full eclipse. Outside of this path, you will only see a partial eclipse.
The best places in Arkansas to view the eclipse
The mountains of Polk County offer breathtaking views. The peaks between the Appalachians and Rockies offer the best places to watch this natural phenomenon. These peaks make Arkansas the perfect place to view this cosmic event.
The Blytheville region is a unique place to watch the eclipse. The city stands on the edge of an area rich in history and culture. It also has an ideal climate for viewing this celestial event, with relatively few clouds and plenty of sunshine.
Hot Springs National Park
This national park lies near Hot Springs, Arkansas, which National Geographic dubbed one of the top ten places to visit. The park is located in the path of totality and is a great place to watch the eclipse. Visitors can enjoy wildlife and nature from campgrounds, hiking trails, and more.
Ozark National Forest
Ozark National Forest has abundant wildlife and numerous trails for hiking, horseback riding, and camping. This unique area offers many options for viewing the eclipse. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views and explore thick cedar, pine, oak, and maple forests.
Tips when viewing the eclipse
The 2024 solar eclipse will be a spectacular experience. It is best to view it with friends or family members for the ultimate experience. Go prepared with food, water, a hat, sunblock, a blanket or jacket, and some safety glasses.
The day of the eclipse will be hot and humid. If you should become dizzy or get too hot during your trip, drink plenty of water and lie down in the shade. If you are driving to see the eclipse, stop your car in a safe location before viewing.
Only view with proper safety glasses recommended by experts. Makers of protective glasses such as American Paper Optics have “… an optical density of 5 or greater, our ISO 12312-2 compliant and CE certified eclipse glasses are independently tested and safe for all phases of the eclipse.” These glasses protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
Look away from the sun frequently to avoid a headache. To get the best experience, you should be in a location surrounded by nature and far from large cities.
Tips for viewing through a camera/telescope lens
When taking pictures of the eclipse, you will need a high-speed film or a high-speed digital camera. The best way to take photos is at the exact moment of totality. This will give you the clearest view of the eclipse. Carry a tripod to keep your camera still during the event. A solar filter is an excellent way to improve the view. The eclipse will change the color of the landscape and sky, so you will have to compensate for this.
If you are using a telescope, ensure good eye protection. You can see more with a telescope, but you may get heat stroke and wear out your eyes quickly. A telescope will give you a clearer view of the moon’s shadow and dark spots on the sun. They are also great for taking photos of the eclipse with a long exposure to capture its movement. You can purchase special filters to help you see more detail.
The beauty of the universe is in its mysterious ways, and it should be celebrated. Arkansas is home to some of the finest eclipse-viewing locations in 2024. Visit the state during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the total eclipse. Bring a camera to capture the unforgettable experience.
(By Katherine Robinson, a writer for American Paper Optics)