Eclipse: August 21, 2017

Countdown to August 21

We're sure you know by now that a total solar eclipse will make its way from Oregon to South Carolina on Monday, August 21, but are you prepared? Eleven states are in the path of total darkness. KMUW has information on the proper ways to watch a solar eclipse, historical context, and ways to mark this much-anticipated celestial event. 

And on August 21, you can follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with KMUW, Kansas News Service, and NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.

In the meantime, peruse our stories below, including Deborah Shaar's feature on How To Watch A Solar Eclipse Safely, Beth Golay's Marginalia interview with David Baron, author of American Eclipse, and here are some great resources from our friends at SciFri!

Hugo Phan / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Zoo wants your used protective eclipse glasses.

The zoo is collecting the special glasses for the Astronomers Without Borders group.

The nonprofit distributes the glasses to people in other countries so they can safely view future solar eclipses.

You can drop-off glasses at the zoo in Wichita through August 28.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar


Jonathan Huber / KMUW

Though the city wasn't in the "path of totality," Wichita residents got to enjoy the solar eclipse Monday afternoon.

Courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA

The excitement has been building for weeks and weeks. Today, the solar eclipse will finally be here.

NASA HQ PHOTO / Creative Commons, flickr

The path of totality, marked by today's historic total eclipse of the sun, arcs across much of Kansas City and its surrounding areas.

Small communities in northeast Kansas are bracing for a massive influx of visitors for Monday's total solar eclipse. Atchison County officials expect as many as 35,000 visitors.

"It is just a guess. It really is," says Jacque Pregont, president of the Atchison Chamber of Commerce. "We really don't know. I mean, we know there's probably going to be 10,000 or more at Benedictine [College], we know there's going to be at least 5,000 at the airport. Beyond that? It's all guesswork."

KDOT Issues Eclipse Tips For Travelers

Aug 15, 2017

Next Monday, a swath of America will witness a total eclipse of the sun. Parts of Kansas are bracing for an influx of travelers who want to experience the event first hand. According to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), there are some things to consider as you make plans.

KDOT recommends that travelers to the northeast corner of the state be mindful of the fact that the roads will be crowded, so take into account the extra time you need for your trip.

Marginalia: David Baron

Aug 4, 2017
Baron photo by Dana Meyer

David Baron’s new book, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, is about the history and the players involved in the total solar eclipse of 1878.

NASA HQ PHOTO / Creative Commons, flickr

A total solar eclipse will happen Monday, Aug. 21, and parts of northeast Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska are among the best places to view it.

If you are planning to watch the eclipse, the experts say do it safely.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon blocks any part of the sun. In the Wichita area, a partial eclipse will be visible for about two to three hours midday.

Only communities in a 70-mile path from coast to coast will experience a total eclipse, where the moon will fully cover the sun for about two and a half minutes.

Where will you be on Aug. 21? Hundreds and perhaps thousands of people will converge on the tiny town of Troy, in extreme northeast Kansas, for something that hasn't been visible in Kansas for nearly a century: a total solar eclipse that runs from coast to coast.