It’s that time again! Well, it’s been 211 years, but a total solar eclipse is coming to Kansas City. The last time our city saw an eclipse like this was in 1806, and we won’t see another until 2205. So, let’s get prepared for this not-to-be-missed event.
A total solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, blocking the sun and casting a shadow on the earth. Though total solar eclipses happen every 1-2 years, totality only occurs along a narrow path on the Earth’s surface, making it extremely rare for those in its route. This year, Kansas City is lucky enough to be in the path.
August 21st, 2017, approx. 1:08 PM
When it comes to a total solar eclipse, proximity matters. Those of you in Johnson County and other surrounding areas will need to head northeast. The best viewing area is expected to be St. Joseph, Missouri. Other communities in the path for a total or partial eclipse include Atchison and Leavenworth in Kansas, as well as Liberty, North Kansas City, and Excelsior Springs in Missouri.
Now that you have the details, make sure you are prepared to safely enjoy the solar eclipse. “Never look directly at the sun, even when it’s partially covered by the moon,” says Dr. Jason Stahl, Durrie Vision. “The sun’s UV rays can burn the retinas in your eyes, causing permanent damage or even blindness. If you’re planning to view the total or partial eclipse, appropriate eye protection is a must.”
For a safe viewing experience, follow the simple tips below.
1. Only look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through special solar filters, i.e. “eclipse glasses”
2. Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through a telescope, binoculars, or an unfiltered camera
3. Inspect your solar filter before each use; discard if scratched or damaged
4. Cover your eyes with the solar filter before looking up at the sun
5. Similarly, always look away from the sun before removing your filter
Here’s a quick list of what’s safe and what’s not safe for viewing the upcoming solar eclipse:
Filtered solar eclipse glasses
Pin-hole projection (if using this method, always keep your back to the sun)
We’re looking forward to this event and will be safely viewing along with you. Durrie Vision will be giving out free eclipse glasses after August 14th. To snag a pair, stop by our office at 8300 College Blvd. Ste 201 in Overland Park. First come, first served! You can also purchase glasses online from the Astronomical Society of Kansas City.