Ever since humanity began, we have had a fascination with the sun, moon, and stars that grace our skies. Our interest has led us to not only create myths about them, but also to send people and machines alike into space to get a firm grasp on these heavenly bodies and phenomenons. One event that is as mysterious as it is beautiful to behold is a total solar eclipse.  Some areas will only be able to see a partial eclipse; however, there are a few local areas that are perfect for seeing it at its fullest and one such location is here at Von Jakob Winery and Brewery.

What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

This astronomical event is caused by the new moon when it comes between the sun and the earth, casting its umbra or shadow onto us. When it is at its darkest, it is called the eclipse’s “totality” and is almost as dark as a night’s sky. Alto Pass, Carbondale, and the surrounding towns are the optimal places to see the eclipse while in Illinois as the longest totality duration in these spots is two minutes and forty seconds.

There are five stages in a total solar eclipse and the ordeal will span almost three hours. First contact starts as a partial eclipse and the moon will begin to cover up our view of the sun. Second contact is when the disc of the sun is completely covered by the moon. Totality and maximum eclipse is the climax and most dramatic of the stages as the sky will go dark, birds and animals may become instantly quiet, and temperatures will drop. After the midpoint of totality occurs, also known as the maximum point of the eclipse, the fourth stage will begin as the moon starts to move away from the sun. Lastly, the fifth stage is characterized by the total eclipse becoming a partial one as it will stop overlapping with the sun.

Time and Duration

Total solar eclipses can be seen on Earth’s surface every eighteen months or so, but that does not mean that they are by any means a common sight to see in the Southern Illinois area. As mentioned before, Carbondale and its surrounding cities will have the longest totality duration of two minutes and forty seconds. The partial eclipse phases will begin at 11:52am, will reach totality around 1:21pm, and then end at 2:47pm.


It is extremely dangerous to look directly at the sun during the partial stages of the eclipse as this can cause severe eye damage. Special, inexpensive glasses will be required and sunglasses are not even close to a decent substitute. These can be found at museums and will more than likely be sold at various local events on the twenty-first of August. The totality on the other hand is safe to view with the naked eye as the sun is completely covered.

In the unfortunate event that you miss this breath-taking sight, the Carbondale area will see another total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. There isn’t a better place than Von Jakob Winery and Brewery to see this spectacular sight while drinking some of our award-winning wines or brews and eating some of our scrumptious meals like our German Beef Brisket. We hope you’ll join us on August 21st to see the awe-inspiring eclipse and uncork the good life.