Murray State prepares for solar eclipse


On August 21, North America will witness a solar eclipse. The “path of totality” will go through west Kentucky.  Paducah, Hopkinsville and Madisonville are all within this pathway. In fact, Hopkinsville is where the total eclipse will be the longest – 2 minutes and 40 seconds.  Murray is just slightly outside of the pathway; however, a near total eclipse will be observed (99.5 percent of the sun will be in the shadow of the moon). For the Murray State main campus, the partial eclipse will begin at 11:54 a.m., with the peak eclipse time at 1:24 p.m., and the eclipse will end at 2:50 p.m.

West Kentucky, primarily in the path of totality, will be inundated with many visitors. Traffic within the pathway will be extremely heavy. Should you decide to travel during this time please allow extra time and be cautious. Also, cell phone and internet services may be sporadic during the weekend with the large number of additional visitors.

The following information is intended to serve as a guide for Murray State faculty, staff and students during the day of the eclipse – August 21, 2017:

  • At this time, Murray State University and all regional campuses and sites (including the Breathitt Veterinary Center) will remain open. (Note that all community colleges will remain open and, in accordance with our procedures, the University follows their decision on whether to close or remain open.) Faculty and staff are expected to report as normal.
  • Classes at the Murray State Hopkinsville Regional Campus and Madisonville Regional Campus are cancelled. At this time, classes at all other locations (Murray, Paducah, Fort Campbell and Henderson) will proceed as normal.  Faculty are encouraged to use the solar eclipse as a unique learning opportunity for students which will further expand educational objectives.  Should the professor/instructor of record wish to cancel a class or alter its starting/ending time on this day, all students must be notified of the change in schedule for the course no later than Wednesday, August 16.
  • Staff, coordinating with their supervisors, may take scheduled breaks during the time of the eclipse as long as the operations of the respective office and providing service to students is not disrupted.
  • As planning continues for the event, changing conditions will be monitored and additional information will be provided as needed.


“Creating Tomorrows by Dreaming Today” 
Lecture featuring Murray State alumna and former NASA director Sue Darnell Ellis
August 17 at 7:30pm
Wrather Auditorium
Sponsored by the Murray State University Alumni Association and the Town & Gown Partnership Program
Eclipse Event Panel: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
August 20 from 3-4:30pm
240 Alexander Hall (Auditorium)
Sponsored by the College of Humanities and Fine Arts
Eclipse Watch Party
August 21 from 12:30-1:45pm
Lawn Area South of Alexander Hall
Sponsored by the College of Education and Human Services and the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology

For additional information and details of the eclipse, visit  If persons have interest in viewing the solar eclipse from Murray State’s Hopkinsville Regional Campus, tickets can be purchased at

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