**2017 Total Solar Eclipse - August 21, 2017**

This page is a work in progress.  It is meant to be an instructional site, and to help coordinate viewing opportunities available in Eastern Missouri for the public to enjoy this great 2017 Eclipse.
  (for edits, ideas, etc. for this page, please contact Jim T.)


ASEM is one of several Eastern Missouri clubs and organizations that are preparing for this great eclipse.  Literally millions of people will be flocking to the center line to see this eclipse.  A committee has been formed for the local coordination of efforts to publicly share this eclipse. We need early attention by educators, science leaders, local government, and legislators to assure that this very rare and once-in-a-lifetime event is enjoyed by our entire state's population.  This web page is a small part of that effort.

To view the MAIN website for this eclipse in our area (ST LOUIS ECLIPSE), please view:
Video ("What it feels like to be there"):

Planetarium shows featuring solar eclipse:  http://www.slsc.org/planetarium-shows

Opportunity is beyond T-shirts and soft-drinks ("Hardware store clears $20k on sales") :
https://vimeo.com/122774810  (you can order them with your own advertising too!)

HOW RARE IS THIS?  Pretty rare!   Well, one happens 'somewhere' around the world (often over the oceans) every 17 months, but averages just one in 375 years in any particular spot on earth. The last total solar eclipse visible from the Saint Louis area occurred in 1442 (there was a fairly rare ANNULAR solar eclipse in the Lou back in May 1994).

Here are previous North American Eclipses for the past 100 yrs:
1900-1950           1951-2000
As you can see, the swath of totality is narrow, and there have been precious few in the continental US in the last 50 yrs.  The last one being in the Pacific Northwest states in 1979. So, this is the first total solar eclipse in the continental USA in 38 years! The good news is, after 2017 North America will get a second chance" in 2024.   2000-2050

IT IS PRETTY RARE, and most everyone I know will want to take the day off, so why not just give in and make it a holiday?

The easy answer is, as many as you can possibly handle, and then some!

Twelve million people actually live "in" the path of totality running from Oregon to South Carolina.  However, an estimated 200 million people live within just a one-day drive.  If just 10 percent of these come to "centerline", that will way more than double any "centerline city" population in the path for the day.  For a once-in-a-lifetime event in an affluent US society, the attendance percentage will likely be high.  Obviously, the closer to "centerline" the more explosive the population gain for the day.  Doubling or tripling the population near centerline is likely.  Cities on centerline can either 'host' an organized event profitably, or be unprepared for an invasion that will tax their local services and people will suffer.  People will literally set up on the side of the freeway if they do not have access to an approved venue.

AstroLeague Eclipse Glasses
I would strongly recommend that you purchase what you will need for family & friends long before - in year 2016 if at all possible.  Don't put it off!  
--> If your business would like to advertise via donations to our supply of Eclipse glasses, please contact us (email to Outreach).

It is very hard to predict the future!  Human behavior is only slightly easier.  Take it for fact that, if your school does not address this eclipse sufficiently, your attendance will suffer greatly.  Indeed, it will be hard to handle the 'blue-flu" with teachers and subs too.  Insufficient staffing will occur from bus drivers, teachers, and other staff.

I predict that any school that is WITHIN the range of totality here in St Charles County will make efforts to sufficiently handle this eclipse AT their school site  (let's say, if at least 30 seconds of totality).  Those (many!) schools that are outside totality, and only experiencing a PARTIAL eclipse, who - if having school that day - need to plan to BUS interested and deserving STUDENTS to an appropriate site within Totality.  If not, accept the extremely low attendance rate for the day.  Here is a LEARNING opportunity in the sciences, an INSPIRING event that encourages STEM careers, and a very rare "lifetime" type of event that MANY of your students and teachers will not want to miss.  A "teachers day" is suggested. 

Use this zoom-able map to determine if your school is within totality, and if so, how long totality is for that location:  NASA link  (point at your location, double-click)

A partial solar eclipse is fairly common, and is not in ANY way near the fantastic and rare personal experience of a TOTAL solar eclipse.  Some in St Louis remember a partial (ANNULAR) solar eclipse here in 1994.  A very nice eclipse, but NOT even close to the beauty of a TOTAL solar eclipse.  If your school would like to consult with us, please contact us (email to Outreach).


Eastern Missouri is a FRACTION of a second from "maximum eclipse duration" on this event.  Center Line running through most of Missouri achieves 2mins 40seconds of totality, which is all (in full seconds) that can be achieved ANYWHERE on this total solar eclipse.  The real trade off is to find a location very near Center Line, but with facilities for parking, water, and "necessities".  Public facilities, including medical.  Both St Louis and Kansas City provide a great starting point, in case clouds develop that day and eclipse chasers need to be mobile. The ENTIRE eclipse can be seen in Totality from Interstate I-70 for nearly the whole state! So, in case of local clouds easy and quick access to "Plan B" can be achieved.  That should not be necessary though, as typical local weather in mid August is very dry and cloudless. or is very spotty.  Both STL and KC offer great airports, and great capacity for hotel rooms and food services.  Likewise, in the event of bad weather or just to fill in the weekend, there is plenty to do and see in these metro areas.  St Joseph MO has already rented out its' airport for that day (2min 38sec) and is prepared to handle 50,000 people!!Perhaps St Clair MO should do the same with its' airport (2min 39sec), as this appears to be a VERY good location to host a large event.  The University of Missouri at Columbia will host an event at Faurot Field (2min 37sec).  Perhaps the high school at Desoto will also utilize its' football stadium (2min 39sec) for public use?  Else perhaps the Festus airport (2min 37secs)?  Union High School's football field, as well as its' city park, gets 2mins 37 seconds of totality.

As it was mentioned in one local committee meeting.  People will come to the center line, whether our local officials do any planning for it or not. The population near the center line area will effectively DOUBLE, triple, or more on Eclipse day.  Without local planning, serious problems can result from lack of sanitation, water, and "other necessities".  Good planning on the part of our local communities near center line will minimize problems and while hopefully maximizing profit potential for the many small cities in the path. Visitors will need hotels, food, drink, "other entertainment", and yes - - port-a-potties!  Late-comers to the planning parties will be paying extra for these 'mobile houses of necessity' to be hauled in from several hundreds of miles away. 

Many schools will (or SHOULD) shut down for the day, as attendance will be significantly down anyway.  Persons taking time off for this will probably be equivalent to those that take off for some major holidays (such as Labor Day or Memorial Day).  Economically, there will be great demand near center line for the service industry, and if schools are in-session that will deplete the ability of the fast-food industry and others to handle the large demand near center line. It would be a pity that such a great educational and inspirational event would not be shared with young minds by keeping them in classrooms that day.  I expect that schools located WITHIN totality will take an hour or two off, while schools within an hour or two drive (or more!) of totality will be arranging bus-loads.

At this point in time, the following locations near St Louis are being planned to share the eclipse with the public:
1)  Klondike Park, St Charles County -          Totality :  2min 23secs    Capacity (early est. 1,000).  Expect reservations to be required at least a month in advance.
2)  Broemmelsiek Park, St Charles County - Totality:   1min 35secs    Capacity (early est. 1,000).  Expect reservations to be required.
3)  Quail Ridge Park, St Charles County       Totality:   1 min 1 sec      Capacity (early est. 1,000).  Expect reservations to be required.
(To post your site here, contact Jim Twellman)

Note that people should strive to get as close as possible to the "Center Line", as Totality will be the longest along that center line.  On the inside of the far edges of the line totality may be just a few seconds.  Let's face it, in partly cloudy skies, an extra 30 seconds (closer to center line) could mean seeing totality, or not!  Outside the band of Totality, the eclipse will simply be a Partial Solar Eclipse.  Most of Missouri will get over 90% of the Sun eclipsed.  * ONLY in the Totality phase may you look safely at the Sun without need for eye protection.* (see reference for Eclipse Glasses at the top of this web page).  Partial eclipses are not so rare.

Parts of ST LOUIS CITY and COUNTY will experience the TOTAL ECLIPSE.  The Northern parts will unfortunately only experience a PARTIAL eclipse.  It will be WORTH THE TRIP to head SOUTH!  The closer to center line the better (so, up to 2mins 40 seconds vs. perhaps just a couple of seconds at the edge).  In St Charles County you'd want to be south of I-64 !


More STL maps :  http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/maps/cities/STL.htm

to REALLY, REALLY ZOOM in, use this excellent site by Xavier Jubier:

In the above site, after zooming in, when you double click on "your site" it will show you how much time in totality your site will enjoy.

While St Louis will not be the site of "Greatest Eclipse", this area will enjoy totality to a FRACTION of a second of that at greatest eclipse. In addition, our area has great facilities (international airport, many hotels, restaurants, wineries, other entertainment, and good roads along the eclipse path).  We expect many Missourians from North and South of totality to move into the path of totality in MO for this event.  Likewise for many people from Arkansas (I-55), Iowa (via US 61), Illinois (I-55), and others.  It-will-be-a-very-major-event.