The small town of Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be the best place to watch the 2017 solar eclipse. Here's why

The total eclipse of the sun on 21 August 2017 will last 1 minute and 47 seconds along it's path through Kentucky and Tennessee, but in Hopkinsville, south-western Kentucky, it will last an incredible 2 minutes and 40 seconds! This is one of the reasons the town (with a population of 32,000) will be the headquarters of eclipse-viewing.

Dean Regas, an astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory said: "If people want to make the absolute most of it, and get every single last millisecond of looking, that's where you want to be.” In most parts of the USA a partial eclipse will be visible, but in Hopkinsville the sky will darken, the temperatures will drop, and the stars will pop out in daytime, as the sun will be completely eclipsed. It will be the largest event this community has ever seen and the first total solar eclipse in the USA since 1979.

Thousands of scientists, observers and tourists are expected to flood the area, as a total solar eclipse is considered the most important and spectacular of all astronomical events. Local motels and Inn’s are already receiving calls from groups all over the world who wish to make bookings for the event.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon lines up between the sun and the Earth, casting a lunar shadow on the Earth's surface and obscuring the solar disk. Scientists urge people to wear protective glasses when viewing a solar eclipse.