One of the greatest moments in the history of St. Louis will be take place on Monday, August 21, 2017, starting at approximately 1:07 pm. A TOTAL eclipse of the sun!

Start making special plans to experience totality with family and friends. It will be the most spectacular event you will ever see in your lifetime.To help you get ready, here are some fun basic facts about the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017:

1) What exactly is a total solar eclipse?

An eclipse is a lineup of the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth. Solar eclipses occur when the Moon moves between Sun and Earth, blocking the Sun’s rays and casting a shadow on Earth.

2) What happens on the ground in a total solar eclipse?

When the Moon blocks the Sun’s rays and casts it shadow, total darkness occurs. Nightfall.Temperatures may drop 10-15 degrees. A day breeze may vanish. Insects will come out and chirp.Stars will be visible. Birds will stop flying.

3) What else is unusual about a total eclipse?

The sightings of a total eclipse are very narrow because of the small path of the moon’s shadow. In this case, only about 70 miles wide. That what makes it such a rare event. It is the proverbial ‘needle in the haystack’.  The vast overwhelming majority of people on this planet will never witness one.

4) Where in St. Louis can the total eclipse be seen?

This total eclipse can best be defined by where it will not be seen.It will NOT be seen at the landmark venues of St Louis like Downtown St. Louis, the Arch, Busch Stadium.The eclipse will move northeast.  It will travel into South County near Arnold,  through West County from Valley Park to Creve Coeur and onto St. Charles County and Southern Illinois.

5) How long will it last?

Depending upon the location, from 30 seconds to 2 and 1/2 minutes.The southern and western tip of the area, from Hillsboro and Union will have the longest. Clayton and the Missouri Botanical Gardens will be thirty seconds.

6) How does one look at the eclipse?

DO NOT look at the eclipse directly. It will cause permanent eye damage. One can buy special viewing glasses. Production is limited. In the recent past, they are no longer available for purchase 3-4 months before the event.

7) What is THE interesting fact about Carbondale, IL ?

There will be another total eclipse in the area on April 8, 2024. It will be seen in Carbondale, IL.  So Carbondale, IL will in the path of two eclipses, a true phenomenon!

John Kasperek has always taken an interest in astronomy. He wants to share his excitement about the total solar eclipse as we get closer to August 21, 2017!