KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Eclipse Planning Eclipse Planning en-us Copyright 2020, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 17 Feb 2020 HH:02:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Mid-Missouri experiences less traffic issues than expected during 2017 eclipse https://www.komu.com/news/mid-missouri-experiences-less-traffic-issues-than-expected-during-2017-eclipse/ https://www.komu.com/news/mid-missouri-experiences-less-traffic-issues-than-expected-during-2017-eclipse/ Eclipse Planning Wed, 23 Aug 2017 7:40:46 PM Dallas Parker, KOMU 8 Reporter Mid-Missouri experiences less traffic issues than expected during 2017 eclipse

COLUMBIA - Missouri State Highway Patrol anticipated the 2017 eclipse would cause problems on highways and roads in mid-Missouri. With hotels in the area nearly booked to capacity, the roads were jam-packed with visitors. But after review, very few issues were reported.

Sergeant Scott White of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said emergency agencies around the state began planning for the influx of visitors last winter.

Through a series of meetings, agencies like MODOT and law enforcement came up with safety protocols for Monday’s events.

Many visitors arrived in mid-Missouri on different days, so that ultimately resulted in less traffic. The problems, White said, arose after the eclipse ended because everyone left the area at the same time.

To ensure public safety, the highway patrol increased the number of troopers on duty but said the move did not cut into the patrol’s overall budget.

“We did have an additional number of troopers, but they weren't overtime detail,” White said. “We just kind of moved troopers to areas we knew we were going to have a problem with. We saw a lot of the congestion on I-70, US 63, and US 54.”

Highway patrol Troop F said it only responded to five car crash reports. Only one crash victim sustained injuries the day of the eclipse.

But things didn't go so smoothly for other areas in Missouri. Troop B in Macon County experienced significant traffic for miles due to a storm that rolled in after the eclipse.

Sergeant Eric Brown of Troop B issued a statement asking media agencies to notify viewers of the standstill on five highways that run through the county.

“Northbound US 63 was backed up to about one mile north of Excello in Macon County.  There was also a traffic crash in the same area causing a further issue and blocking one lane. Eastbound US 36 was backed up approximately 3 miles from US 24 in Marion County,” Brown said in the statement. “There was congestion at US 24 and US 61 south of Palmyra. MO 19 at US 61 returned to a normal/manageable amount of traffic,”

MODOT, law enforcement and public service agencies eventually decongested the area.

Overall, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is satisfied with its efforts to ensure public safety during Monday’s events.



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Show Me Eclipse: Weather Forecast https://www.komu.com/news/show-me-eclipse-weather-forecast/ https://www.komu.com/news/show-me-eclipse-weather-forecast/ Eclipse Planning Tue, 8 Aug 2017 6:46:08 PM Kenton Gewecke, KOMU 8 Chief Meteorologist Show Me Eclipse: Weather Forecast

We hope you enjoyed the eclipse!

Weather update notifications will also be sent to the KOMU 8 Weather & Traffic App on Apple and Android devices. You can also use this app to track traffic around the day of the eclipse - or any day for that matter. 

I have answers to all your eclipse question in my Eclipse Deep Dive – check it out! ...seriously, if there is a question not answered there send me a note.


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Jefferson City prepares for eclipse events https://www.komu.com/news/jefferson-city-prepares-for-eclipse-events/ https://www.komu.com/news/jefferson-city-prepares-for-eclipse-events/ Eclipse Planning Sat, 19 Aug 2017 1:19:58 PM Jacob Cavaiani, KOMU 8 Reporter Jefferson City prepares for eclipse events

JEFFERSON CITY - With the eclipse nearly here, crews in Jefferson City were busy preparing for festivities Saturday.

On the steps of the Supreme Court, they prepared the stage for NASA's live broadcast. In between the Supreme Court and the Capitol, they set up NASA's Journey to Tomorrow trailer. It features workstations with touch-screen computers that tell the story of NASA and its research.

"We have an actual moon rock returned by the astronauts in the Apollo 17 mission," said David DeFelice, the community relations team lead for NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. "And then we have a really neat globe display that shows the earth and can actually take you around a little tour of the solar system as well."

The 53-foot air-conditioned trailer is free and will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

As for its live broadcast, NASA selected Jefferson City because of its central location in the path of totality, DeFelice said.

Two Missouri natives will assist in the broadcast. They are Dr. Janet Kavandi, a Springfield native the director of NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and Col. Michael Hopkins, an astronaut and a Richland native.

Katherine Reed, communications manager for the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the bureau has been planning for over a year now.

"The last month has been pretty hectic, especially since all these eclipse glasses, with the notifications that people were getting counterfeit or fake eclipse glasses," she said.

Several Jefferson City businesses still have approved eclipse glasses, Reed said. NASA will also have glasses available.

"They were generous and brought a limited supply with them," she said.

DeFelice said it is important people wear properly-certified, safe eclipse glasses when viewing. 

Monday's festivities in Jefferson City include the eclipse festival, a mini carnival and live entertainment.

Visit KOMU 8's Show Me Eclipse page for a complete list of eclipse events in mid-Missouri.

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Amtrak tickets still available on the day of the eclipse https://www.komu.com/news/amtrak-tickets-still-available-on-the-day-of-the-eclipse/ https://www.komu.com/news/amtrak-tickets-still-available-on-the-day-of-the-eclipse/ Eclipse Planning Sat, 12 Aug 2017 7:51:36 PM Jacob Cavaiani, KOMU 8 Reporter Amtrak tickets still available on the day of the eclipse

JEFFERSON CITY - Space is still available on Amtrak trains going in and out of mid-Missouri on Monday, Aug. 21, the day of the eclipse.

The westbound trains from the St. Louis area are filling up quickly, but officials are keeping an eye on it and are able to add capacity if needed.

Kristi Jamison, MoDOT's railroad operations manager, said there is still space on the eastbound trains but officials are watching it closely as well.

Trains are expected to leave Kansas City and St. Louis and arrive in Jefferson City before noon. Totality is expected to reach Jefferson City around 1:13 p.m.

Service on the train goes through Independence, Lee's Summit, Warrensburg, Sedalia, Hermann, Washington and Kirkwood. Many of those communities are hosting eclipse events on their own, Jamsion said.

With so many people expected to be on the road on the day of the eclipse, she said riding the train is a good option.

"We think the train would be a very good alternative to get you off the highway. You can kind of relax as you get to your event, as we let the train conductor do the driving," she said.

But the eclipse is not the only event officials watch closely. She said they look to increase capacity at other special events, such as Oktoberfest.

"Obviously, we want to increase ridership on our Amtrak trains," said said.

For those planning to ride Amtrak on or near the eclipse, Jamison said some discounts are available.


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Mid-Missouri Public Schools planning day around solar eclipse https://www.komu.com/news/mid-missouri-public-schools-planning-day-around-solar-eclipse/ https://www.komu.com/news/mid-missouri-public-schools-planning-day-around-solar-eclipse/ Eclipse Planning Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:40:29 PM Michael Rizzo, KOMU 8 Reporter Mid-Missouri Public Schools planning day around solar eclipse

COLUMBIA - With the total solar eclipse less than two weeks away, mid-Missouri public schools say they are working on providing a fun, safe experience for students to enjoy the once in a lifetime event.

Columbia and Jefferson City are both prepping for a large influx of people, while the public schools are doing their best to keep students and parents informed about their plans for Aug. 21.

Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said Columbia has been working on logistics for a long time.

"The school district has been planning for the solar eclipse for nearly a year," he said. "School will be in session on August 21 and we have a wonderful day of learning planned for students. We have purchased eclipse viewing glasses for all students and staff and we have lessons and activities planned prior to, during and after the event."

Rick Hirst, an astronomy teacher at Jefferson City High School, said he's really excited and can't wait to experience the event with his students. 

"I've heard lots of stories about how neat it is and how dark it's going to be," he said. "We're definitely going to bring our students out, class wise, at different times to, kind of see the progression of the eclipse up to totality, and make sure they're definitely out there to see the total eclipse." 

Jefferson City Public Schools will also provide all students and staff with NASA-approved eclipse viewing glasses.

With both cities being hot spots for visitors during the eclipse, public schools are prepping to work around added traffic as school gets out. 

Stiepleman said CPS is working on alternate routes to navigate around possible high-traffic areas.

"The first tier of dismissals for 11 of our 30-plus schools begin a little more than an hour after the eclipse ends," he said. "Our transportation department is working to determine alternate driving routes, if necessary, to avoid areas designated as public viewing locations where traffic may be more congested."

Director of Jefferson City School and Community Relations Amy Berendzen said the public schools are warning parents to be prepared.

“We absolutely expect, not just anticipate, but expect delays in getting our kids home after school," she said.  "I’d like to take the opportunity to ask our parents to please be patient. Safety is our first priority, so we’ll take every precaution we can to maneuver traffic in congested areas, and to get kids home safe after school. It might just take us a few extra minutes.”

Both school districts hope students come to school to experience the total eclipse.

Columbia Public Schools said students can take an excused absence with the proper permission form.

Jefferson City Public Schools said missing classes that day will be considered an unexcused absence.



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Preparations continue as solar eclipse draws near https://www.komu.com/news/preparations-continue-as-solar-eclipse-draws-near/ https://www.komu.com/news/preparations-continue-as-solar-eclipse-draws-near/ Eclipse Planning Thu, 20 Jul 2017 8:25:43 PM Alexis Reese, KOMU 8 Reporter Preparations continue as solar eclipse draws near

COLUMBIA – Friday marks one month until the solar eclipse, and Columbia organizations and businesses are making last minutes tweaks to prepare for the event.

The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a number of different events for their “Show Me Totality” festival. Strategic Communications Manager Megan McConachie said it's been preparing for the eclipse for over a year.

“We knew the eclipse was going to be a big deal and it was time to organize something that people who were going to be visiting could experience,” she said.

McConachie said the hardest part about preparing for the festival is predicting how the day will go when it comes.

“Kind of the first rule of event planning is well ‘how many guests will you have? How many attendees will there be?’” She said. “And at this point there’s really no way of knowing for sure. So there’s so many factors going into that.”

Despite the pressure and work, McConachie is ready for the eclipse.

“Getting ready for this, there’s a lot of anticipation and so I’m just really excited for it to get here,” she said.

Angela Speck, the Director of Astronomy at the University of Missouri, is helping prepare Columbians for the eclipse through education.

“We want to have the population ready to know what’s happening,” she said. “I think most people do have an idea of an eclipse is. But, they may not understand why it’s such a big deal. Why is it so rare.”

Speck also said there’s misinformation the public needs to know about.

“There’s also a lot of misconceptions about when it’s safe to look at it, when it’s not, so also dealing with safety issues,” she said. “So my job is both teaching the science of why it happens, talking about what they’re going to get to see so that they understand just how amazing it’s going to be, and then making sure that people are safe.”

For example, Speck says you can take your solar eclipse glasses off during totality but not during the partial eclipse.

Speck said she’s been speaking with agencies and police, informing them on how to keep people safe.

Find complete coverage of this event at KOMU.com/eclipse

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Columbia business Kolu to launch travel app in time for eclipse. https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-business-kolu-to-launch-travel-app-in-time-for-eclipse-/ https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-business-kolu-to-launch-travel-app-in-time-for-eclipse-/ Eclipse Planning Wed, 12 Jul 2017 3:47:45 PM Nick Allen, KOMU 8 Reporter Columbia business Kolu to launch travel app in time for eclipse.

COLUMBIA - A new travel app is getting its start here in Columbia. 

Local business Kolu seeks to set itself apart from the glut of travel apps on the iTunes and Android app stores. The business revolves around getting customers in touch with "experts" of the city to where they are traveling. These experts would give tourists a local's perspective on the best places to stay, eat, etc. 

"We think that people are getting tired of large, standardized group tours. Kolu will offer them a much more customized experience so they can get exactly what they're looking for," said Kolu Chief Technology Officer Emily Johnson. 

The app is looking to officially launch its beta on July 25th, largely to make sure it is ready for the tourism boom the August eclipse will bring to Columbia. 

The Kolu staff is composed mainly of both past and current University of Missouri students selected Columbia as their testing city for the app.

From there, they look to execute a city by city rollout, and even go international. 

The idea for the app came when Kolu Founder Alex Winkler traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, and was disappointed with his standardized bus tour. 

Kolu is utilizing local business resource The Hub to build the business, leading to the app getting a special mention at Wednesday's Regional Economic Development (REDI) board meeting.  

REDI Entrepreneurship Program Director Collin Bunch said he expects the app to have success with the younger generation. 

"The thing with millennial is they want real, authentic experiences. They don't want to eat at a Chili's in Dallas. They want to. They want to find the best, underground restaurant that locals go to," Bunch said.  

Kolu currently has 10 guide experts in Columbia, but are looking for more. Those interested can visit the Kolu website and apply. 


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Missourians attend meeting in preparation for eclipse https://www.komu.com/news/missourians-attend-meeting-in-preparation-for-eclipse/ https://www.komu.com/news/missourians-attend-meeting-in-preparation-for-eclipse/ Eclipse Planning Thu, 6 Jul 2017 7:27:18 PM Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporter Missourians attend meeting in preparation for eclipse

JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians and residents from all across the country will get to experience a total solar eclipse on August 21. 

Dozens of people showed up at the Capitol Plaza Hotel on Thursday night to learn more about the total solar eclipse and how they can participate. 

The city is hosting a three-day event from Aug. 19-21. The city will have activities planned throughout the three days, including a mini carnival, a corn maze, a 5k run and brunch with NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins.   

Jefferson City will experience 2 minutes and 29 seconds of totality on the banks of the Missouri River.  

NASA is coming to Jefferson City to broadcast the eclipse live on the steps of the Missouri Supreme Court with NASA Astronaut Janet Kavandi — a native of Carthage, Missouri. NASA announced the city will be one of seven locations from which NASA will broadcast a live feed of the solar eclipse. NASA will also be bringing its Journey to Tomorrow exhibit. 

Eugene Vale with Missouri State Parks gave a presentation on the eclipse and why it is important. One of the things he talked about was the different types of eclipses. He also talked about how to stay safe during the total solar eclipse. 

Event Coordinator Jill Snodgrass said the eclipse "won't have the same impact as it will when you experience the eclipse with our neighbors and other like minded people."

"I got a really good sense of the enormity of it as far as the interest, you know, the number of people that could actually be in attendance and all of the different events the area is going to be putting on," resident Duane Mobley said. "I' m really looking forward to the three day event. It really looks like it's going to serve the area very well. And I was most impressed with what they had to say about how it could benefit our sense of community right here. When everybody comes and goes, that's one thing, but what we have right here in Jefferson City."

Mobley said he is looking forward to the 50 mile bike ride on the day of the eclipse. 

To learn more about the three day event, visit the Capital Eclipse website. 

You can learn everything about the Show Me Eclipse on our dedicated page.

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Mid-Missouri schools finalizing plans leading up to eclipse https://www.komu.com/news/mid-missouri-schools-finalizing-plans-leading-up-to-eclipse/ https://www.komu.com/news/mid-missouri-schools-finalizing-plans-leading-up-to-eclipse/ Eclipse Planning Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:03:28 PM Joey Schneider, KOMU 8 Reporter Mid-Missouri schools finalizing plans leading up to eclipse

COLUMBIA – As students prepare to make their return to public schools and universities next month, thousands in mid-Missouri will come back to lesson plans and activities on the coming total solar eclipse.

The eclipse will move in the path of totality in a 70 mile swath across Missouri. It is expected to move through the state shortly after 1 p.m. while hundreds of schools begin their first day or first full week of classes. 

“Eclipses happen somewhere on the planet every year, but they don’t happen in any given place very often,” MU director of astronomy Angela Speck said. “As the university, it’s our job to be able to provide educational opportunities, and it would be a huge shame if we didn’t make the most of it.”

Serving on the NASA Science Panel for the eclipse, Speck co-chairs part of a national task force that allows her to organize materials and resources necessary for teachers both within and outside the path of totality nationally.

She said classes have not been canceled for MU on eclipse day, although she has reached out to all faculty to reschedule classes on the first day as necessary for everyone on campus to experience the eclipse.

Speck said locations that look south without a building obstruction, such as Carnahan Quad and Traditions Plaza, will be prime viewing spots. But she expects campus to be much more crowded than even the busiest days at MU.

“One of the things I have to do at the national level is to help people figure out how to predict how many people are going to come, and how to handle that,” Speck said. “We are actually predicting that most places in the path of totality are going to double their population, and we could go as far as quadrupling the population just in terms of where and how good our location is.”

More than 30 public schools in Columbia will design age-appropriate activities and experiments for students leading up to the eclipse. The assignments could range from early-elementary students making paper plate models to high school students setting up digital experiments to learn about the eclipse’s effects on temperature and animal behavior.

Mike Szydlowski, Columbia Public Schools K-12 science coordinator, ordered 30,000 eclipse-viewing glasses for students and staff in the district. He said the administration is fine-tuning lesson plans to extend beyond the science department with educational opportunities for language arts, social studies and math.

He said it's important that students to get a complete perspective on the eclipse.

“We just want them to see that there is a rhyme and reason to what we know today,” Szydlowski said. “We don’t know everything, but in this case, we know quite a bit, and they’re going to be the next people who might learn those new discoveries.”

Smaller public school districts, including Miller County R-3 Schools in Tuscumbia, are just a few miles outside of totality and are preparing for a field trip to experience the eclipse in whole.

Randy Gum, K-12 principal for Miller County R-3 Schools, said he has worked with the superintendent and transportation department on a plan to bus up 200 students to a Jefferson City park. He said he wants to give the students a childhood memory, but also stimulate curiosity and life-long learning.

“This is a rare opportunity, so when you have this type of opportunity, you want to do everything you can to support the community,” Gum said. “The sun is out everyday, but this allows us to look at it with a new light and experience it first-hand.”

Other institutions if offering digital streams for those who may not experience the total eclipse first-hand. William Woods University in Fulton will set up a Facebook Live video display on a campus telescope and broadcast the sun during and after the total eclipse.

Joe Kyger, assistant professor of chemistry at William Woods, said the university would also provide optics to help students and faculty view the eclipse on campus, but said the telescope would provide a close view of the sun’s corona with help from a solar filter.

“We’re going to attempt to broadcast live out to all the areas with the Fulton community’s efforts so everyone can see what’s going on instead of one person at a time because that would not work with the time frame we have.”

William Woods is also leading a freshman orientation around a solar eclipse theme the week before. Kyger said the school’s events add to the anticipation of the total eclipse throughout mid-Missouri.

“It’s such an exciting natural phenomenon that it’s going to garner a lot of attention for the students,” Kyger said. “Anytime you can get a real tangible connection to the sciences, it’s a learning experience, and it gives us another opportunity to highlight our university.

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Weighing work with an historic event: What are you doing August 21? https://www.komu.com/news/weighing-work-with-an-historic-event-what-are-you-doing-august-21-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weighing-work-with-an-historic-event-what-are-you-doing-august-21-/ Eclipse Planning Wed, 21 Jun 2017 1:10:16 PM Evan Lachnit, KOMU 8 Reporter Weighing work with an historic event: What are you doing August 21?

COLUMBIA - The total solar eclipse is now less than two months away and people are beginning to plan. 

With this historic event happening on a Monday, a traditional work day, it raises the question: how are businesses balancing work with this event happening right in the middle of the day?

KOMU 8 reached out to many area businesses in both Columbia and Jefferson City. A few responded they would be hosting events at their buildings and allowing employees to take part in the events during the day. 

Many of those businesses asked to stay anonymous, so employees are surprised about the events when they happen.

Others said they were not yet sure what their exact plans were and were not comfortable making their events public. 

But a handful of businesses did say they would be allowing employees to take a short break and head outside to see the eclipse. 

It is important to note, the majority of businesses KOMU 8 spoke to said they would directly be allowing employees off to view the eclipse. 

But at least one area business will do just that.

Jay MacLellan, director of public relations for Shelter Insurance, said the company will be having an event on August 21st, but the exact details have not been finalized yet. 

"But we do plan on that event being about two and a half hours, from the time it starts about 11:45 a.m. till about 2:30 p.m.," MacLellan said. 

MacLellan said it was important for the company to be able to offer an event so employees can watch the eclipse. 

"It has not happened in such a long time, eclipses like this happen very rarely and so it is unique and we want our employees to be able to see it and it's one time, so it is a good opportunity for us to allow them to go out and see it and experience it," MacLellan said. 

MacLellan also said it was important to make sure Shelter planned an event on the company campus. He added there are multiple good viewing areas on its campus to view the eclipse. 

"We've got our gardens that people can go out there and view the eclipse from there, or we have got the fountain in front, we have got a lot of places for people to do that so we feel like that will be a good way to attract our people to stay here and do that," MacLellan said.


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Jefferson City chosen for NASA'S live eclipse broadcast https://www.komu.com/news/jefferson-city-chosen-for-nasa-s-live-eclipse-broadcast/ https://www.komu.com/news/jefferson-city-chosen-for-nasa-s-live-eclipse-broadcast/ Eclipse Planning Fri, 16 Jun 2017 3:06:18 PM Kevin Levine, Austin Howard, KOMU 8 News Reporter Jefferson City chosen for NASA'S live eclipse broadcast

JEFFERSON CITY - NASA named Jefferson City one of seven cities that will host a live broadcast of August's solar eclipse.

The Jefferson City Convention and Visitor Bureau has not decided yet where the broadcast will take place, but wants it to be between the Supreme Court and Capitol buildings. NASA will broadcast the eclipse live on NASA TV and on its website.

"We were anxiously awaiting when we could announce the information they were coming," said Katherine Reed, the bureau's communications director.

"We knew it would take this event to the next level and put Jefferson City on the map."

NASA is sending Dr. Janet Kavandi, director of the Glenn Research Center, to assist in the coverage of the eclipse. Kavandi, a Springfield native, was in space for more than 33 days and was the director of flight crew operations at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

The live broadcast will be in conjunction with other events the bureau will host over the three-day celebration. One exhibit, NASA's Journey to Tomorrow, will bring an interactive NASA experience to Jefferson City.

Other events include a mini carnival, sky watching and a drum circle with live entertainment.

The events surrounding the eclipse have some locals excited to come out for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Store owner Tanya Lankford said, "I think this is something that is also bringing people together with their children and family and everybody has been chatting about it. Everyone's very excited."

NASA chose cities based on the eclipse's path. It will also be broadcasting from Portland, Oregon, Idaho Falls, Idaho, Beatrice, Nebraska, Carbondale, Illinois, Clarksville, Tennessee, Cherokee, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina.


Get full coverage of the Show Me Eclipse all summer at komu.com/eclipse and every Wednesday at Six on KOMU 8 News. 

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Maps, video show path of total solar eclipse across Missouri https://www.komu.com/news/maps-video-show-path-of-total-solar-eclipse-across-missouri/ https://www.komu.com/news/maps-video-show-path-of-total-solar-eclipse-across-missouri/ Eclipse Planning Mon, 29 May 2017 3:45:14 PM Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director Maps, video show path of total solar eclipse across Missouri

COLUMBIA - The coming solar eclipse will be visible across a swath of Missouri, with totality visible in Columbia, Jefferson City, Fulton, Holts Summit, Hermann and elsewhere. The maps and video here will help you plan where you want to be.

NASA produced the animation above, which shows where the moon's shadow on the sun will be visible. The small black dot in the center is the path of totality, when the sun is completely blacked out. The animation also shows the times the eclipse will happen over each area, the duration and the latitude and longitude of the center.

The Google map below shows a more detailed view of the path across Missouri. NASA also offers an interactive map that shows the exact time and duration at any particular point. Just zoom in and click on the spot you'll be in.

Read more stories about how this total solar eclipse will impact mid-Missouri on our official page.


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