News release: Total Solar Eclipse

Tim Baker, MU Extension Horticulture Specialist
102 N. Main, Suite 1, Gallatin, MO 64640

Release Date: July 20, 2017
Headline: Total Solar Eclipse

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m fascinated by astronomy. And I’m really excited about the upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21st.

Occasionally, I still run into someone who hasn’t heard about it. If you’re in the latter category, be forewarned… the sun is going to disappear behind the moon for about 2½ minutes a little after 1:00 PM on that hot summer afternoon.

We are, of course, hoping for clear weather.  There’s a pretty good chance for that in late August. 

The path of the eclipse enters Missouri at St. Joseph, runs between Columbia and Jefferson City, and tracks further to the southeast leaving our state around Ste. Genevieve.

The path of totality is roughly 70 miles wide as it tracks across Missouri.  If you live outside that path, you will get a partial solar eclipse, as the moon covers the sun… but not the entire sun.

Where the eclipse is total, the moon will cover the entire sun, giving us a spectacular show. You will be able to see the Sun’s corona. Even some stars. Those who have seen a total solar eclipse tell us it’s an amazing show.

I would emphasize, however, that you must have proper eye protection to view the partial stages.  Even a short instant of attempting to view the partial eclipse could result in permanent eye damage.  Don’t take a chance!  Make sure that you have approved solar eclipse glasses.  Sunglasses won’t help, and using them could still damage your eyes.

There are many excellent web sites about the solar eclipse.  I have provided links to many of them on my web site.  Look at