Missourians have a front row seat for the solar eclipse

Joan Hart

Joan Hart

By: 
JOAN HART

On August 21, 2017 Missouri will live up to its name as the “Show Me State” in probably the most spectacular way ever, as literally thousands of eyes will be focused on the skies over Missouri to view the solar eclipse of 2017.

It will be a spectacular total solar eclipse where the moon completely covers the sun, and the moon’s umbra, the darkest part of its shadow, falls on Earth.  The total eclipse can only be seen within the umbra’s path. The rest of the state will witness a partial solar eclipse in varying degrees.

According to the website, GreatAmericanEclipse.com, Missouri has the potential for enormous visitation on eclipse day. “We estimate that the centerline in Missouri is the closest destination for 31 million Americans. We further estimate that between 323,000 and 1,291,000 people will travel to the path of totality on eclipse day.”

Observers are already talking about this day having the biggest traffic jam ever, and all motel/hotel rooms within the path of totality are filling up fast, so be forewarned and make your plans accordingly. You can count on every available parking space to be taken.

St. Joseph is smack on the centerline and viewers there will enjoy 2 minutes and 38 seconds of totality. Kansas City residents will be split with the northern suburbs and the city of Independence in the path. St. Louis will also be bisected by the northern limit of totality and Festus and St. Genevieve will offer the best views.

Jefferson City will have 2 minutes and 27 seconds of totality in which “the sun’s brilliant disk is fully covered by the moon. The sky turns dark like very deep twilight and the brightest planets and stars become visible.  Animals become quiet, birds roost, and the temperature drops noticeably.” (Quoted from capitaleclipse.org)

For the complete column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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