On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible across the entire U.S. The last total solar eclipse seen coast to coast in the U.S. was in 1918. Starting shortly before noon and lasting until 2:45 p.m. central time, people in Illinois can see the moon pass in front of the sun.
There is a 70-mile wide path across the country called the path of totality, which is when the sun will be completely blocked by the moon. Parts of southern Illinois are in the path of totality and people there will see a total eclipse. Totality in Carbondale and the immediate surrounding area will last approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Central and northern Illinois will see varying degrees of the partial eclipse with decreasing magnitude further north.
Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief phase when the moon entirely eclipses the sun. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers.
More information about the path of the eclipse and how long it will last can be found at https://eclipse.aas.org/.