Photo Courtesy of Hiroki ONO, Flickr

August 10, 2016
Writer: Nina Janne

Steven McNeil, who is the Physics Department Chair at BYU-Idaho, said Rexburg is one of the prime locations to watch the once in a life time solar eclipse in August 2017. He said it's because we will have the longest time to actually view it.

"You can see partial eclipse all the time," McNeil said. "Every few years you'll get a partial where the moon just covers up part of the sun. But to actually get it to cover up the whole sun, it's kind of a once in a life time event. It's not going to happen again in Rexburg in anyone's lifetime."

Even though the total eclipse will only be 2 minutes and 17 seconds, visitors will come from all over. Among the people coming to watch will be UCLA professors and an MIT Professor who plans to speak at BYU-Idaho.

I asked Eric Conrad the Managing Director of University Services how the university and the city are planning to tackle this influx of people.

"Well, what we're foreseeing is it might be like the first day of school and that move-in weekend," Conrad said. "You know how that goes. It just gets kinda crazy in town."

He mentioned the need to get more portable bathrooms, get people on and off the highway, and to get more parking. Tourists are already calling the city to reserve spots to see the eclipse. I called all the hotels in Rexburg and they said they have been booked for the eclipse for three months.

"There's not a lot of housing, even the camp grounds have been booked up," he said. "We're working on some solutions. people might even be renting their homes out."

The Great American Eclipse will be visible August 21st, 2017 at 11:33 a.m.

If you want to find out more information, here's the full interview with Conrad and McNeil.