NASA, state officials will gather at Orchard Dale Farm, the point of total eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse map (NASA)

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WKRN) – NASA and statewide officials in Kentucky, including Governor Matt Bevin and Senator Mitch McConnell, will watch the eclipse from the point of greatest totality.

The point is on Orchard Dale Farm in Cerulean, which is about 11 miles northwest of Hopkinsville and a multi-generational family-owned property that used to be an apple orchard.

About 10 years ago, a local Kentucky newspaper caught wind that on the farm would be the point of greatest eclipse.

“People started learning that it’s going to be a real big event,” said Mark Cansler, one of the farm’s owners. “As time went on it somewhat snowballed and we saw it was going to be a huge event.”

The day before the eclipse, RVs were rolling onto the farm and camping tents were popping up. About 800 campers are expected to watch on the farm from California to England.

Cansler also volunteered the property to the media and NASA, which has a planetary scientist at the site. She will be walking around and educating visitors about the eclipse.

“Where we are right now is called the point of greatest eclipse,” said scientist Renee Weber. “The axis of the moon’s shadow is pointed the most directly at the center of the earth. So the shadow itself will be the most circular.”

As for Mark Cansler, he said he wanted to share the experience but the visitors he’s most excited about are his out-of-state family members.

“I never dreamed that something like this would be going on because we’re just used to working the farm here,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting and my family got to come home and experience it.”

Don’t worry, though. NASA is assuring that anywhere in the path of totality will be great viewing.

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