St. Louis area residents and visitors are in for a real treat on August 21, 2017.  Just after 1pm on this Monday with many schools already in session, the Moon will get between the Earth and the Sun and cast a shadow over Earth.  Darkness will fall in the middle of the day.  Planets and stars may appear.  The temperature could drop up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).  Animals and insects may behave like nightfall has set.  You may think you have seen a "total" solar eclipse before, but chances are you have not.  Most likely you saw a "partial" eclipse like the one that just occurred in 2014.  The last total solar eclipse occurred in St. Louis in the year 1442 (not a typo).   12 states and 12 million people live directly within the path of totality.  Missouri ranks #1 in of the states in the path with 3.4 million of its residents living directly in the path of totality.  St. Louis has 1.6 million residents living within the path of totality and is tied with Nashville for the most number of residents living directly within the path. 

View a list of past eclipses in the U.S.A.

The August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse is a big deal for a number of reasons. This will be the first total solar eclipse to touch the United States since the 1990s when one occurred on Hawaii, and the first to cover it coast-to-coast since 1918!  The Moon’s shadow will pass across the Pacific Ocean onto the coast of Oregon, and then proceed to fall across all of North America (as Earth rotates), finally entering the Atlantic Ocean on the South Carolina border.  Many are calling this the "Great American Eclipse."

It is even a bigger deal if you happen to be in the right spot to view a total solar eclipse.  Whereas a lunar eclipse is visible for hours by the entire night side of the world, a total solar eclipse can only be experienced in the narrow path of Earth’s surface where the Moon’s shadow happens to fall.  In Missouri the eclipse path will start in St. Joseph, pass over Columbia and Jefferson City, De Soto and finally head into Illinois at Cape Girardeau.  Unfortunately, the Moon's shadow will only be 70 miles wide which means that not all of St. Louis is in the path of totality.  But all of St. Louis is within easy driving distance to experience this life time event. 

View an eclipse map to see if your street is in totality

The St. Louis area, like many regions in our country, will be hosting a number of eclipse related events.   Our St. Louis Eclipse Task Force is posting events on our events calendar as received.  Today these events are primarily "awareness" events but we expect a number of exciting festivals during the weekend of the eclipse 

Hold onto your hats because this is going to be a lot of fun for everyone.  Don't forget to plan for the event for yourself.  It will be an experience you and your family will not want to miss.

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Eclipse Picture

Image credit: Luc Viatour from Wikimedia commons; original from http://www.lucnix.be/main.php. Taken in France.