Understanding “all things eclipse” involves learning new things and expanding our vocabulary! Click on the links below to learn more about what people in the know say about the Great American Solar Eclipse and what we can expect during totality in Marshall, Missouri on August 21, 2017!
This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. The last one occurred February 26, 1979. Unfortunately, not many people saw it because it passed five states in the Northwest and the weather for the most part was bleak. Before that one, you have to go back to March 7, 1970.
You want to be on the center line. This probably isn’t a revelation, but the Moon’s shadow is round. If it were square, it wouldn’t matter where you viewed totality. People across its width would experience the same duration of darkness. The shadow is round, however, so the longest eclipse occurs at its center line because that’s where you’ll experience the Moon’s shadow’s full width.
The future is bright but long. The next total solar eclipse over the continental U.S. occurs April 8, 2024. It’s a good one, too. Depending on where you are (on the center line), the duration of totality lasts at least 3 minutes and 22 seconds on the east coast of Maine and stretches to 4 minutes and 27 seconds in southwestern Texas. After that eclipse, it’s a 20-year wait until August 23, 2044 (and, similar to the 1979 event, that one is visible only in Montana and North Dakota). Total solar eclipses follow in 2045 and 2078.
(Bakich, Michael. "25 facts you should know about the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse". Astronomy Magazine. 05 Aug 14. Web. 06 Feb 17.)
A solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun. The Moon's shadow moves across the Earth's surface.
A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon completely obscures the Sun and leaves just the small rays of the corona.
So why isn't the whole Earth dark? That is because of the size of the Sun, Moon and Earth, the distance as well as the tilt of the Earth.
The maximum amount of totality recorded for a solar eclipse is 7 minutes, 30 seconds. In Marshall, we will have 2 minutes and 39 seconds of complete darkness during the eclipse.
Here in Marshall, the partial phase will begin at 11:43:57 and totality will be at 1:10:22. Totality will last for 2 minutes and 39 seconds. Keep in mind, if you want to be on the center line, Marshall, MO is the place to be.
Did You Know?
On August 21st, tune into KMMO 102.9 for in depth eclipse day coverage, including how to stay safe during the eclipse, up to date traffic reports and eclipse news and views.
Between now and August 21st, we invite our radio listeners to tune into KMMO 102.9 every Monday morning at 7:10am for the "Eclipse Minute." Current information will be discussed about eclipse plans and the "Moonstruck in Marshall, MO" events and festivities.