Metro-East News

Region just 100 days away from watching a total solar eclipse

Watch the total solar eclipse in Indonesia in 35 seconds

Members of Slooh watched and captured the total solar eclipse from Indonesia on March 8, 2016. You'll be able to see a similar event this summer here in the metro-east.
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Members of Slooh watched and captured the total solar eclipse from Indonesia on March 8, 2016. You'll be able to see a similar event this summer here in the metro-east.

The 2017 solar eclipse is fast approaching, and one of the best places to watch it is near St. Louis.

It will seem like someone shut the sun off mid-day on Aug. 21 for a chunk of the country from Portland, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. The phenomenon last happened 99 years ago, in 1918, according to CNN. For the rest of the country, only a portion of the sun will disappear.

The eclipse, which is being called the “Great American Eclipse,” is now only 100 days away. During this event, the moon will pass between Earth and the sun, which will appear to block the sun for almost a half hour. Viewers will only be able to see the full eclipse, however, for a little more than minute, depending on where they are.

St. Louis, Nashville and Kansas City will be some of the best places to watch the eclipse, according to CNN, because viewers will have a better chance of seeing the sun totally covered.

The best places near St. Louis to watch the eclipse are at Jefferson Barracks, Blake C. Snyder Memorial Park, Lone Elk, Castlewood or Greensfelder parks, according to eclipse2017.org, a site dedicated to details on viewing the eclipse. South and west of the city are the best places to be.

In the NASA map below, anywhere within the lines will have the sun completely blocked by the moon for the longest period of time. Those areas are the best place to watch the eclipse.

The prediction path for the full eclipse puts Belleville just barely north of the best viewing areas, according to path projections on NASA’s website. In Belleville and surrounding areas, the total eclipse will be visible for about 40 seconds.

The eclipse will begin around 11:45 a.m. in Jefferson City, Mo., and will pass by Carbondale, Ill. at 11:52 a.m., according to NASA. It’ll be over in this area by 1:20 p.m.

NASA recommends that viewers protect their eyes during the eclipse by wearing special solar filters, like “eclipse glasses.” Ordinary sunglasses aren’t safe to look directly at the sun with.

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