On Monday, August 21, 2017, the St. Louis region will experience its first total solar eclipse in over 400 years. As the moon’s shadow passes over the sun, only a relatively narrow pathway across the nation will have the opportunity to view this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Due to the angle of the eclipse, only the southern half of St. Louis will experience the total solar eclipse. The northern half of the County will only see a partial eclipse. Because of this, thousands of people will be heading south that day to see this amazing event. St. Louis County’s Jefferson Barracks Park will be hosting an eclipse viewing event on this date.
At the park, the moon’s shadow begins its pass over the sun at 11:49 a.m. and the total eclipse phase will be from 1:17 p.m. – 1:19 .pm. Eye protection, in the form of specialized eclipse glasses will be required for safe viewing of the sun - looking at the sun directly, even during an eclipse, can cause permanent eye damage.
The event at Jefferson Barracks will be free and open to the public. Check back for further information and updates on the event.
A total solar eclipse is coming to St. Louis – the first one in centuries! But we want this event to be exciting and memorable, and not let anyone get hurt. The most important thing to remember is eye safety.
- NEVER, EVER look directly at the sun, even during a partial eclipse. The retina in your eye does not have pain receptors, so you cannot feel the damage you are doing to your eye. Looking directly at the sun can cause severe damage to your sight, or even blindness.
- When the sun is in the total eclipse phase (approximately 1min 30sec, depending on your location in the County), then it is safe to view the eclipse without eye protection. In fact, when the total eclipse phase is occurring, the best way to view it is with the naked eye.
- Sunglasses DO NOT provide enough protection to your eyes. You MUST use special eclipse glasses to safely view this event.
- Other items that DO NOT provide safe viewing include: binoculars, cameras without special eclipse filters, telescopes without special eclipse filters, camera film, smoked glass, X-ray film, CDs. Please always use eclipse glasses and stay safe at all times.
You can also make a pinhole viewer to safely see the eclipse. Visit these websites to learn more:
When is this eclipse visible from St. Louis?
The eclipse will take place on Monday August 21, 2017. The partial phase will begin at in the late morning at 11:52am. Totality will last from 1:16-1:19pm. The eclipse will end at 2:44pm.
All Missourians should be encouraged to go outside during lunchtime and observe the eclipse.
Where is the best place to observe the eclipse?
A partial eclipse will be visible over the entire United States, more than 500 million people in the US, Canada and Mexico will have a chance to see it! However, the real spectacle will be the total eclipse which will be visible in a 110km wide path running from Oregon to South Carolina. The path will cut across Missouri from St. Joseph in the west to Ste. Genevieve in the east. 57 of Missouri’s 105 largest cities lie in the path of totality. More than 2 million Missourians live in this path! 24 of Missouri’s 53 largest Colleges and Universities are in the path with a student population of more than 130,000 students. See the following NASA website for more information.
Can I safely view the eclipse?
During the total eclipse phase, the Sun is safe to observe with the unaided eye. In fact, the overall brightness of the Sun is expected to decrease to that of a Full Moon. The sky will darken like nightfall and bright stars and planets may be visible for the 2 minutes of totality! During the partial eclipse phase, safe methods for viewing the Sun must be used. These methods are described on the internet and found in books at your local library. Safe methods include: special “eclipse glasses”; and pin-hole projection. UNSAFE methods include: Sunglasses; Mylar Balloons or Food Wrappers; Smoked Glass; X-Ray Film; Film Negatives; and CDs. See the following NASA Website for more safety information.
Can I safely photograph the eclipse?
Still or video photography can be an enjoyable way to document the eclipse. Don’t forget to capture audio as the crowd oohs and aahs. Protect your camera the same as your eyes, use only special “solar filters” when photographing the Sun. Photography guidebooks can be found at your local library, camera shop, or on-line.
Click here to read more fun facts about the upcoming total solar eclipse!