It’s a total eclipse of the heartland.
On Monday, a solar eclipse will occur. According to NASA, they’re not as rare as many people may think. NASA’s website states that solar eclipses actually occur about 2 to 4 times per year.
What’s rare about this year’s eclipse is that it’s the first time in 99 years that the path of totality will go coast to coast in the U.S. Included in that path of totality is a sizable swath of Missouri.
Missouri Business Alert has you covered on where to be, what to do, and what you need to make the most of Monday’s eclipse.
Where to be
Multiple cities throughout the state will be prime viewing spots to watch the eclipse.
Three larger communities will be directly in the center of the path of totality, making them the absolute best places in the state for viewing the eclipse with the longest period of darkness. St. Joseph, Columbia and Jefferson City all will experience over 2 minutes and 30 seconds of total darkness, according to Great American Eclipse.
Although these three will be the best locations, there are numerous other cities across the state that will offer good views as well.
Check out this video by Nasa to follow the path of totality across the country:
What to do
Total darkness will last for less than three minutes, so what are you supposed to do for the rest of the day? First and foremost, you’ll be able to watch the sky the whole day as the moon begins to move in front of the sun.
Second, there are events all over the state you can check out. From food truck gatherings to brewery parties, there’s something that’ll keep you busy until it gets dark. Looking for ideas? Check out this list of events of events curated by the Missouri Division of Tourism.
What you need
If you want to look directly at the eclipse, you’ll need special glasses that are made to protect your eyes from the sun’s dangerous rays. Why is it so important you wear them? Well, according to CNN, “your eyes could be severely damaged. And, yes, you could go blind.”
There are many places to find them for free, NBC News reports, but you can also buy them. However, if you’re purchasing glasses, especially online, Reuters reports there’s a chance they could be fake and ineffective.
With so many people clamoring to get their hands on a pair, some companies have taken the opportunity to make a quick buck by putting consumers at risk. So be sure to check if your glasses are legit.
How can you tell? The American Astronomical Society has created a list of verified manufacturers.