Total Solar Eclipse
The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse is fast approaching. While St. Joseph is on the centerline and will enjoy a generous 2 minutes and 38 seconds of totality, the southern edge of totality splits Kansas City with the northern suburbs and the nearby city of Independence under the Moon's shadow. The citizens of Jackson County are lucky enough to have the chance to catch a glimpse of this magnificent sight.
Where To Watch?
There are several Total Solar Eclipse events offered throughout the Kansas City area on August 21. They include -
- Planetarium Watch Party at Union Station
- Party in The Market at The City Market
- Total Eclipse of the Farm at Green Dirt Farm
- Eclipse at the Ballpark at the Kansas City T-Bones baseball field
For more information and additional Total Solar Eclipse events in the Kansas City area Visit KC.
About Eclipse Glasses
There are important safety precautions that you have to take in order to view the eclipse. Dark sunglasses are not enough to protect you. Partial or full eclipse blindness can occur when you do not wear the proper eclipse glasses to view the rare event.
According to the American Astronomical Society, the first thing you need to look for in any eclipse glasses is the International Organization for Standardization rating. For effective eclipse glasses, the rating will be an “ISO 12312-2” or “ISO 12312-2:2015” marking.
These symbols mean that the ISO has registered that manufacturer’s sunglasses for general use and that they contain filters for direct observation of the sun. The marking is usually large enough to easily be read by consumers.
Where can you purchase approved Eclipse Glasses?
Solar eclipse glasses can easily be purchased online for the big day, but a few retailers carry the approved glasses at some (but not all) of their locations.
Walmart stores nationwide are carrying eclipse glasses. The glasses are $1 and there is also a “Get Eclipsed” guidebook with solar glasses included for $3.47 at Walmart.
Lowes stores also sell eclipse glasses starting at $1.99.
Other retailers include 7-Eleven, Best Buy and even your local chain grocery store.
Other Safety Concerns
Law Enforcement and Emergency Managers are concerned about traffic flow and possible pedestrian incidents. Heat issues during the events are of serious concern. The state of Missouri Emergency Operations Center will be fully activated, as well as The Jackson County / Independence Emergency Operations Center.
- Don’t stop along interstates or roads and don’t park on the shoulder.
- Exit the road and find a safe place to stop and watch or photograph the eclipse.
- Pay attention. Distracted driving is dangerous, particularly during this time of increased traffic on the roadways.
- Never take photographs while driving.
- See and be seen. Turn your headlights on and do not rely on your vehicle’s auto headlight setting.
- Watch out for extra pedestrians and cyclists along smaller roads before, during and after the event. People may park randomly and walk along roads, particularly in the hour before the eclipse to get the best viewing.
- Prepare for congestion especially on the interstates in the path of totality the day before, day of and day after the eclipse.
- Don’t wear “eclipse glasses” while you’re driving.
- Avoid travel during the eclipse or in the area of the main path if you can.
- In the event of a non-injury traffic accident, move your vehicles off of the roadway to a safe location.
- Check traffic conditions statewide on the Missouri Department of Transportation’s online Traveler Information Map. It’s also available as a free app: for iPhones and Androids
This information was prepared by Jackson County Emergency Management with data from NASA and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).