The eclipse is coming, the eclipse is coming!
By now, you are probably aware that a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse will sweep across Missouri from northwest to southeast, narrowly missing Kansas City and St. Louis but dead center or nearly so for many other cities and towns:
- St. Joseph, with a totality, or longest duration of the sun being blocked by the moon, of 2 minutes, 38 seconds
- Marshall, totality of 2 min., 39 sec.
- Boonville, also 2 min., 39 sec.
- Columbia, 2 min., 37 sec.
- Jefferson City, 2 min, 29 sec.
- Festus 2 min., 37 sec.
- Ste. Genevieve, 2 min., 40 sec.
And other, nearby towns. Here’s a complete list of towns in the eclipse path with expected duration of totality. (Please note all times are estimates and may be off a second or two.)
Just before noon, the moon will begin passing between the earth and the sun. Totality will occur approximately one hour later.
The exact time depends on where you are located: In St. Joseph, the eclipse begins at 11:40:42 a.m., with totality at 1:06:27 p.m. In Jefferson City, totality begins at 1:13:07 p.m.; in tiny Belgique, near the Mississippi River and where the eclipse exits the state, 1:21:35 p.m.
It’s the first total eclipse to sweep across the entire U.S. for nearly 100 years, since 1918, and the first in Missouri for nearly 150 years (1869), which only hit our far northeast corner.
Eclipse watchers say memories of a total eclipse last a lifetime as day turns to hushed night, birds stop chirping and the otherwise hidden solar corona — the sun’s outer atmosphere — one of nature’s most awesome sights, becomes visible. Bright stars and planets will be visible, too. All at 1 p.m. on a Monday.
The eclipse is a great opportunity to promote your products or services, whatever your industry, if you’re in or near the eclipse path. These entities already have. If your firm is on or near the path of totality, expect business to be booming. An informal survey of Columbia and St. Joseph lodging shows that rooms have been sold out for months. Grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, food trucks, restaurants, bars, cafés and coffee shops, transportation services, outdoors outfitters and retailers of almost anything used in outdoor recreation from tents and chairs to coolers, general retail stores and many other establishments will also likely experience a jump in business, perhaps large. If you haven’t already done so, order essential goods and schedule staff shifts now.
The jury is out on whether staring at an eclipse with the naked eye causes permanent eye damage. Temporary blindness and related optical problems seem to be more common. Still, why take chances? The only guaranteed safe way to look directly at the sun, uneclipsed or eclipsed, is through special-purpose solar filters known as eclipse glasses and available from a wide spectrum of firms at nominal prices. Using cameras, telescopes, binoculars and the like; homemade filters; or sunglasses, even the darkest ones, won’t shield your eyes. Here is a variety of University of Missouri videos and events on the eclipse.
A solar eclipse is one of nature’s greatest spectacles. With a little planning and foresight, and by observing basic safely precautions, you will be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime and good receipts, too.
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