The next total solar eclipse visible in Missouri won’t happen until 2024. But preparations are already underway for the big day.
The event occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Sun and Earth, darkening a 70-mile wide path called the “path of totality.” It will pass over Mexico’s Pacific coast before entering the United States in Texas and moving diagonally across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and Maine. It will then enter Canada in southern Ontario and move through Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island before ending on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland at 5:16 p.m. EDT.
During the totality phase, the sky will turn black and the temperature may drop as the Sun’s heat is blocked by the Moon’s shadow. The Sun’s corona will be visible, and stars and planets may appear as well.
Eclipse-watching glasses are available, but it is important to remember that looking at the Sun without the proper safety equipment can cause permanent eye damage. Instead, use a pinhole projector—a hole punched in an index card for example—or make your own using a piece of cardboard and a pair of sunglasses.
Some communities in the state’s path are hosting events and festivals. The Missouri Eclipse Task Force is encouraging them to do so because they know the event will bring in tourists, helping to boost their local economies. It’s also a chance for people to experience the natural beauty of their region.