Annular Eclipse - “Sweet Spot” found in Southern Utah
NASA officials have identified Kanarraville, Utah to be right on the center line of the May 20, 2012 Annular Solar Eclipse. Kanarraville has been dubbed the “Sweet Spot” for viewing the eclipse and after visiting, you’ll see why. Not only is Kanarraville right on the center line for the eclipse, Kanarraville is a sweet little town with a charm all its own. Located just south of Cedar City, with easy access to Interstate 15, Kanarraville’s prime location on the center line will be the “Sweet Spot” to be on May 20th. Leading up to the actual eclipse there will be an “Eclipse Extravaganza” held May 19, 2012 from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Cedar City Aquatic Center.
Eclipse chasers are invited to view the eclipse from the “Sweet Spot” in Kanarraville. Several locations with clear line of sight viewing will be available in the town of Kanarraville with the main viewing location field just off Spring Creek Road. The eclipse will take place as the sun sets toward Bumble Bee Mountain with a start time predicted at 6:33 PM and complete transverse of the moon in front of the sun at 8:37 PM. According to David Ence, Kanarraville Town Manager, “the town took NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins’ coordinates, hired a surveyor to determine the location of the eclipse and determined that viewing would still be possible even with the Bumble Bee mountain range on the western horizon”.
At the Spring Creek Road location there will be vendors offering prepackaged food, beverages, tee-shirts and other goodies. Southern Utah University Associate Professor Brent Sorenson will be at this location and is willing to share several telescopes with attendees who may not have their own. There will also be portable “facilities”, a.k.a., port-a-potties. Once the Spring Creek site is full, there will be plenty of shoulder parking on Old Highway 91 throughout Kanarraville to remain in “Sweet Spot”. Officials are planning to accommodate cars, RV’s and people bringing camp chairs, blankets and telescopes.
Be forewarned: there are no hotels, gas stations, nor fast food restaurants in Kanarraville. There is a RV Park and Campground (Redledge). Campers are also welcome to camp at Kanarravilles’ City Park Cobblecrest. For hotel accommodations Iron County Tourism Bureau recommends staying in Cedar City. For lodging choices, visit http://www.scenicsouthernutah.com/lodging/cedarcity_lodging.shtml. Many establishments are offering eclipse specials.
Bonnie Char, Cedar City ~ Brian Head Tourism Bureau Public Relations Specialist notes, “For eclipse chasers who don’t care being directly on the centerline of the eclipse, and would rather find their own secret “Sweet Spot”, there are several recommended viewing locations. From Cedar City to Kanarraville, some say the 13 mile difference is “indiscernible to the human eye”. Those who choose to avoid the crowds and merriment in Kanarraville may disperse along the secondary line of sight areas throughout Iron Country. Maps will be printed and distributed at the Eclipse Extravaganza event – Saturday May 19th prior to the eclipse, or pick one up at the Visitor Center (581 N. Main Street, Cedar City). For more information about the eclipse and the events taking place visit this website: http://www.scenicsouthernutah.com/annular_solar_eclipse.shtml#Sunday