If you remember the Great American Eclipse of 2017, which occurred on August 21st of that year and was viewed by over 20 million Americans, you might recall that the "duration of totality," or the amount of time that the sun is totally blocked by the moon, was a little over two and a half minutes long.

The next total solar eclipse, taking place this coming Monday, April 8th, will feature a duration of totality of nearly 4 and a half minutes, which means if you thought the 2017 eclipse was well worth heading out for a look, you're going to get nearly double the viewing time this year.

Believe it or not, there are spots in Illinois that will be better for eclipse viewing than others when the eclipse takes place Monday afternoon.

Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images

NASA Says That A Total Solar Eclipse Causes Some Weird Things To Happen

With the 4 minutes or so of darkness caused by the solar eclipse, nocturnal animals are often tricked into becoming active when they ordinarily wouldn't be, some birds will stop chirping, and bees will head back into their hives. In other words, nature gets jet-lagged.

Unlike some previous solar eclipses that we've experienced, this one will be viewable by people throughout the 48 contiguous states (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii). Here in Illinois, the farther south you go, the higher percentage of darkness (or, totality) you'll see, but you'll get a look at it no matter where you are in our state.

Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images
No one told Doris she had on 3-D movie glasses. (Getty Images)

If You Want 100 Percent Totality, Think About Traveling To Carbondale

Carbondale is close to the eclipse centerline, and they also had 100 percent totality during the eclipse of 2017. That makes them a perfect spot, and it's probably why Southern Illinois University is hosting an eclipse viewing event on Monday afternoon. You could also head to Superman's hometown of Metropolis, where you'll also experience 100 percent totality.

Woman enjoying sight of solar eclipse in space.
Getty Images

Let's Take A Look At When You Should Start Watching The Sky, And What Percentage Of Totality We'll See Here In Northern Illinois

According to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, the best time for viewing the total solar eclipse will be on Monday afternoon between 1:58pm (CST) and 2:06pm (CST). Don't forget, you'll need special viewing glasses for this event to protect your eyes.

Here's the percentage of totality (the amount of the sun covered by the moon) for some Illinois cities and towns, starting in the north and working south:

      • South Beloit: 90.67%
      • Rockton/Roscoe: 90.69%
      • Machesney Park: 90.99%
      • Loves Park: 91.03%
      • Rockford: 91.18%
      • Byron: 91.25%
      • Dixon: 91.66%
      • Chicago: 94.22%
      • Peoria: 94.51%
      • Bloomington: 95.85%
      • Springfield: 96.65%
      • Champaign: 97.91%
      • Carbondale: 100%
      • Metropolis: 100%

LOOK: The states with the most UFO sightings

For each state, we’ve also included details of famous UFO sightings in that state. Of note is that almost three-quarters of all UFO sighting reports in the United States occur between 4 p.m. and midnight, and tend to peak between 9 and 10 p.m. Food for thought next time you're out scoping for alien life. Keep reading to see which states have had the most UFO sightings.

Gallery Credit: Nicole Caldwell & Matt Albasi

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