On Monday, Aug. 21, the community of Troy, Kansas will be one of the nation’s hot spots in which to view the 2017 solar eclipse. The tiny town in extreme northeast Kansas, just west of St. Joseph, Mo. is expected to be one of the best places to see the eclipse in totality.
Totality, or when the moon completely blocks the sun and day turns into night, is expected to last for 2 minutes and 38 seconds starting at 1:05:54 p.m. CDT in Troy. The entire continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting two to three hours. Anyone within a 70-milewide path that stretches through 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse.
The city of Troy and Doniphan County in Kansas are hosting “Eclipse in the Heartland,” events for the crowds of curious people who want to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event at its best. Festivities start on Sunday, August 20 and run through Monday. You can even order your official event t-shirt online at https://teespring.com/stores/eclipse-in-the-heartland.
The effects of a total eclipse include a visible, otherwise hidden, solar corona of the sun’s outer atmosphere. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well. Birds will fly to their nighttime roosts. Nocturnal insects such as cicadas and crickets will buzz and chirp. Scientists across the country insist it is truly one of nature’s most wondrous experiences.
Eleven NASA and NOAA satellites, the International Space Station, more than 50 high-altitude balloons and hundreds of ground-based assets will take advantage of this rare event over 90 minutes. The science and the beauty of a total solar eclipse can be seen in live streams and a NASA TV broadcast, bringing the Aug. 21 eclipse live to viewers.
For those who want to view the eclipse in person some special precautions must be taken in order to protect the eyes. The only safe way to look directly at an uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.
Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are NOT safe for looking at the sun. It is safe to look at a total eclipse with your naked eyes, ONLY during the brief period of totality, which will last just a minute or two during the Aug. 21 eclipse. It is NOT safe to look at the sun through the viewfinder of a camera or an unfiltered telescope.
You can safely look at the screen of your smartphone or digital camera focused on the eclipse, though you are unlikely to get a good view. An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. In this method, you don’t look directly at the sun, but at a projection on a piece of paper or even the ground.
And if you decide to stay in Derby and not partake in the festivities in Troy, according to eclipse maps, you should still see about 92 percent obstruction of the sun by the moon. You might just miss out on all of the fun in Doniphan County.