Aug 31, 2012 1:51 PM by Lauren Molenburg

Small Kentucky town focus of eclipse chasers

HOPKINSVILLE, Kentucky. (AP) - In Kentucky, two-minute events that grab the world's attention usually play out at Churchill Downs' racetrack. But in five years, another short-running spectacle will have people looking skyward as this southwestern Kentucky town hits the astronomical jackpot.

When a total eclipse of the sun darkens skies August 21, 2017, the show will last longer in the hilly countryside near Hopkinsville than anywhere on the planet. It will last two minutes and 40 seconds, not much longer than the Kentucky Derby.

The town of 32,000 near the Tennessee border is hoping to cash in.

A few miles northwest of town will turn into ground zero for scientists and eclipse chasers. They'll be armed with telescopes and cameras to capture the first total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. mainland since 1979.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)



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