On August 21st, American sky watchers will be treated with a rare and spectacular show. It will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States in nearly four decades.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and earth, casting a shadow on the Earth's surface. Because the moon is so small in relation to the Sun and Earth,the shadow it casts is very small making it extremely rare to actually observe.
Here in the Ozarks, we are going to be in a prime position to see this eclipse because the center of it is going to pass right over the central and northern part of the state. If you're up near Kansas City, right along I-70 and Columbia and then just south of St. Louis, you're going to experience the total solar eclipse. Down in Springfield, we are going to see a partial eclipse but it's still going to be a spectacular show none the less.
It's also a great opportunity for NASA scientists to study the sun like never before.
Dr. Yari Collado-Vega, NASA Scientist said, "For us space scientists, we are very interested in how the moon blocks the solar disk and we can actually be able to see parts of the solar atmosphere that we usually don't see because this because you have to block the sun completely to make sure that you see that solar atmosphere."
This eclipse will be visible between 1 and 1:30 pm on the afternoon of August 21st and at any given location, you'll see that total eclipse last about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.