Partial solar eclipse Saturday


Missouri residents will witness a partial solar eclipse, referred to as a “ring of fire,” at approximately 11:18 a.m. this Saturday, Oct. 14.

This annular eclipse happens when the moon is near its farthest point from earth, so it does not completely block the sun, creating the “ring of fire” look.

For this area, the moon is expected to block approximately 60 percent of the sun for a period of 4-5 minutes.

As with all solar eclipses, it is unsafe to look directly at the sun. However, there are several options for safe viewing of the event, according to the NASA website.

The Eldon area was last in the crosshairs of a total solar eclipse Aug. 21, 2017.

Viewing guidelines

When watching a solar eclipse directly with your eyes, you must look through safe solar viewing glasses (“eclipse glasses”) or a safe handheld solar viewer at all times.

Eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the sun during an eclipse.

Also, do NOT look at the sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury.

The circular holes of a colander project crescent shapes onto the ground during the partial phases of a solar eclipse.

Safe options

If you don’t have eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can use an indirect viewing method, which does not involve looking directly at the sun.

One way is to use a pinhole projector, which has a small opening (for example, a hole punched in an index card) and projects an image of the sun onto a nearby surface.

With the sun at your back, you can then safely view the projected image. Do NOT look at the sun through the pinhole!