Solar Eclipse 2017

The Kentucky Chapter’s Mantle Rock Nature Preserve in western Kentucky was in the path of totality for the Aug. 21, 2017 solar eclipse.

In August 2017, dozens of Conservancy staff and supporters hiked around the Mantle Rock Nature Preserve before experiencing this historic natural event. Additional visitors came from many states around the country, including Alaska, Oklahoma, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Arkansas, and Indiana. Mantle Rock Nature Preserve is a certified site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, which the Cherokee Nation followed after being forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma.

During totality, the part of the moon facing Earth is being lit by earthshine. Earthshine is sunlight hitting Earth, and then bouncing back toward the moon and slightly illuminating the moon’s shadowed surface.

At 11:54 a.m., the moon began to roll across the view of the sun.

The moon advances across the sun.

The moon continues to advance across the sun.

In this photo, the yellow photography filter is removed to present a more natural-looking image of the sun.

The eclipse nears totality.

At the left edge of the sun in this photo, a bead of sunlight can be seen shining through an opening between a valley or canyon on the moon’s surface moments before totality.

After totality, the sun becomes visible again as the moon continues to move across the view of the sun.

The moon reveals more and more of the sun as the eclipse continues. Sunspots are now visible. These are areas associated with magnetic fields inside the sun and are not as hot as the rest of the sun’s surface; therefore, they show up as darker spots

Clouds roll across the sun as the eclipse nears its end. The entire event lasted about three hours.

Shelly Morris, the Kentucky Chapter’s western Kentucky project director, gives an introduction to Mantle Rock Nature Preserve before the solar eclipse.

Twins Hudson and Molly Morris, son and daughter of the Kentucky Chapter’s west Kentucky project director Shelly Morris, enjoy the eclipse through the safety of their creatively styled eclipse viewing glasses.

Amateur Astronomer Mike Lynch sets up a telescope for visitors at Mantle Rock Nature Preserve to watch the total solar eclipse.

Lisa Morris, office manager for the Kentucky Chapter, enjoys the solar eclipse through safety glasses.

Henry Chandler, son of Kentucky Chapter urban conservation project director Chris Chandler, views the eclipse through a telescope at Mantle Rock Nature Preserve.


Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.