(Missourinet) – Missouri residents, it’s time to dust off those eclipse glasses. A partial eclipse is slated to grace the skies this Saturday.
The celestial event will see the Moon passing in front of the sun, casting its shadow from Oregon, sweeping through New Mexico, and Texas, and continuing its journey across Central and South America.
For those in Missouri, the spectacle will be slightly different. Mike Reed, an astronomer at Missouri State University, explained that the annular eclipse, often referred to as the “ring of fire,” will not manifest as such in the state. “In Missouri, it will always appear as a crescent. That’s the most distinct shape we’ll observe from here,” Reed remarked.
The eclipse is scheduled to commence at 11:27 a.m., culminating at 1:26 p.m. For those eager to catch the best glimpse, Reed suggests tuning in at 11:53 a.m.
Yet, the clarity of the view hinges on the weather. Reed noted, “If the sky is overcast, the sun will be obscured. Thin clouds might not be much of a hindrance, but thicker cloud cover, which is currently forecasted, could diminish the experience. Regardless, the ambiance will darken as 63% of the sun gets obscured.”
In terms of the visual effect, Reed likened the eclipse to the soft light of dusk.
For those planning to witness this astronomical marvel, Reed emphasized the importance of eye safety. He recommends using solar viewing glasses, a handheld solar viewer, or even a welding mask. Additionally, he shared a simple trick: “Punch a few pinholes in a sheet of paper and hold it above a surface like pavement. Observe the shadow. Even the dappled light through tree leaves can create crescent shapes on the ground when the sun is out.”
A word of caution for photography enthusiasts and stargazers: Avoid looking at the sun through cameras, telescopes, binoculars, or any optical devices, even if wearing protective eyewear. The concentrated solar rays can inflict severe eye damage.
As for Reed’s plans? He’ll be enjoying the partial eclipse from New Mexico.