When Was The Last Solar Eclipse In Missouri


Solar eclipses have long captivated the imagination of people around the world. These celestial events, where the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, creating a temporary shadow on our planet, are both awe-inspiring and scientifically significant. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of solar eclipses, with a particular focus on the last solar eclipse in Missouri. But before we delve into the details, let’s first understand what a solar eclipse is and why it generates so much interest and excitement.

What is a Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon aligns perfectly between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface. There are three types of solar eclipses: total, partial, and annular. During a total solar eclipse, the Moon completely covers the Sun, creating a breathtaking spectacle as the sky darkens and the Sun’s corona becomes visible. In a partial solar eclipse, only a portion of the Sun is obscured, while an annular eclipse happens when the Moon is at its farthest point from the Earth, resulting in a ring of sunlight around the Moon.

The Interest and Excitement Surrounding Solar Eclipses

Solar eclipses have fascinated humanity for centuries. They evoke a sense of wonder and mystery, reminding us of the vastness and beauty of the universe. People from all walks of life, including scientists, astronomers, and enthusiasts, eagerly await these celestial events. The rarity of total solar eclipses, which can only be observed from specific locations on Earth, adds to their allure. The anticipation and excitement leading up to a solar eclipse create a sense of community as people gather to witness this extraordinary phenomenon together.

Now that we have a basic understanding of solar eclipses and the fascination they generate, let’s explore the history of solar eclipses in Missouri.

Metadata for context: Section 2/5: II. Solar Eclipses in Missouri

— start of article outline subsection —
II. Solar Eclipses in Missouri
A. Historical background of solar eclipses in Missouri
1. Mention of notable solar eclipses in the past
2. Importance of studying solar eclipses for scientific research
B. Discussion of the last solar eclipse in Missouri
1. Date and time of the last solar eclipse
2. Path of totality and its impact on viewing experience
3. Public interest and participation in observing the eclipse
4. Impact of the eclipse on local communities and tourism
— end of article outline subsection —

II. Solar Eclipses in Missouri

Missouri has a rich history of solar eclipses, with several notable events that have captivated both scientists and the general public. These celestial phenomena have provided valuable opportunities for scientific research and have also sparked widespread interest and excitement among people of all ages.

A. Historical background of solar eclipses in Missouri

Solar eclipses have been observed in Missouri throughout history, with some particularly memorable occurrences. One such event took place on August 21, 2017, when a total solar eclipse swept across the United States, including parts of Missouri. This eclipse, often referred to as the “Great American Eclipse,” was the first total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States in nearly four decades.

B. Discussion of the last solar eclipse in Missouri

The last solar eclipse in Missouri occurred on August 21, 2017. This event attracted significant attention as it passed through several states, including Missouri, along a path of totality. The path of totality refers to the narrow region on Earth where the Moon completely blocks the Sun, resulting in a brief period of darkness during the day.

During the 2017 eclipse, the path of totality in Missouri stretched across the northern part of the state, including cities like St. Joseph and Columbia. The duration of totality varied depending on the location, ranging from a little over two minutes to around two and a half minutes.

The path of totality had a profound impact on the viewing experience of the eclipse. Those within the path were able to witness the awe-inspiring sight of the Sun’s corona, the outermost layer of the Sun’s atmosphere, glowing brightly against the darkened sky. This rare phenomenon provided a unique opportunity for scientists and astronomers to study the Sun’s corona and gather valuable data.

The 2017 solar eclipse generated immense public interest, with people from all over the country flocking to Missouri and other states along the path of totality to witness this extraordinary event. Communities in Missouri embraced the eclipse, organizing various events and activities to celebrate the occasion. Local businesses and tourism also benefited from the influx of visitors, as hotels, restaurants, and shops experienced a surge in activity.

The impact of the eclipse extended beyond the scientific and economic realms. It served as a unifying experience, bringing people together to marvel at the wonders of the universe. Families, friends, and strangers gathered to witness this celestial spectacle, creating lasting memories and a sense of shared awe.

Solar eclipses have a way of captivating the human imagination, reminding us of our place in the vastness of the cosmos. They inspire curiosity, wonder, and a desire to explore the mysteries of the universe. The last solar eclipse in Missouri was no exception, leaving a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to witness it.

In the next section, we will delve into the significance of solar eclipses, both from a scientific perspective and in terms of their cultural and historical importance.

III. Significance of Solar Eclipses

Solar eclipses hold great significance both scientifically and culturally. They provide unique opportunities for scientific research and have influenced ancient beliefs, art, literature, and historical events.

A. Scientific Importance of Studying Solar Eclipses

  1. Opportunities for studying the Sun and its corona

Solar eclipses offer scientists a rare chance to observe the Sun’s corona, the outermost layer of its atmosphere. During an eclipse, the Moon blocks the Sun’s bright surface, allowing scientists to study the corona’s structure, temperature, and magnetic fields. This research helps deepen our understanding of the Sun’s behavior and its impact on Earth.

  1. Gathering data on the Earth’s atmosphere and its effects during an eclipse

Solar eclipses also provide an opportunity to study the Earth’s atmosphere and its response to the sudden decrease in sunlight. Scientists can measure changes in temperature, humidity, and air pressure during an eclipse, which helps in studying atmospheric dynamics and the effects of solar radiation on our planet.

B. Cultural and Historical Significance of Solar Eclipses

  1. Ancient beliefs and myths associated with eclipses

Throughout history, solar eclipses have been surrounded by various beliefs and myths. Ancient civilizations often interpreted eclipses as omens or supernatural events. In some cultures, people believed that a dragon or celestial beings were devouring the Sun, leading to rituals and practices to protect against these perceived threats.

  1. Impact of eclipses on art, literature, and cultural practices

Solar eclipses have inspired artists, writers, and poets across different cultures. They have been depicted in paintings, sculptures, and literature, symbolizing mystery, transformation, and the transient nature of life. Eclipses have also influenced cultural practices, such as the celebration of festivals or the observation of specific rituals during these celestial events.

  1. Examples of famous historical events related to solar eclipses

Solar eclipses have played a role in significant historical events. One notable example is the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BCE, which interrupted a battle between the Lydians and the Medes. The sudden darkness during the eclipse led to a truce between the warring parties, as they interpreted it as a sign from the gods. This event is considered one of the earliest recorded instances of a solar eclipse influencing human history.

Solar eclipses continue to captivate our imagination and hold cultural and scientific significance. As we delve deeper into the mysteries of the universe, these celestial events provide us with valuable insights and inspire us to explore the wonders of our solar system.

IV. Future Solar Eclipses in Missouri

As we look ahead to the future, there are several upcoming solar eclipses that will grace the skies of Missouri. These celestial events offer a unique opportunity for both scientists and the general public to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. In this section, we will explore the dates and paths of totality for these upcoming eclipses, as well as the importance of planning and safety measures for observing them.

A. Upcoming solar eclipses in Missouri

  1. Dates and paths of totality

One of the most highly anticipated upcoming solar eclipses in Missouri is set to occur on April 8, 2024. This eclipse will follow a path that stretches from Mexico to Canada, passing directly over several cities in Missouri, including St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City. The duration of totality will vary depending on the location, with some areas experiencing up to 4 minutes and 27 seconds of complete darkness.

Another notable solar eclipse will take place on August 12, 2045. While this eclipse will not pass directly over Missouri, the state will still be able to witness a partial eclipse, with the northern regions experiencing the greatest coverage.

  1. Expected public interest and preparations

Given the excitement generated by the previous solar eclipse in Missouri, it is expected that there will be a significant level of public interest in these upcoming events. Communities, schools, and organizations are likely to organize viewing parties, educational programs, and other related activities to engage the public and make the most of this extraordinary celestial phenomenon.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it is important for individuals to plan ahead and take necessary precautions. Local authorities and organizations will likely provide information on designated viewing areas, parking arrangements, and other logistical details. It is advisable to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot and to bring essential supplies such as sunscreen, water, and snacks.

B. Importance of planning and safety measures for observing solar eclipses

  1. Mention of proper eye protection and safe viewing techniques

Observing a solar eclipse without proper eye protection can cause serious damage to the eyes. It is crucial to use certified solar viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers that meet the necessary safety standards. Regular sunglasses, homemade filters, or unverified viewing devices should never be used, as they do not provide adequate protection against the harmful rays of the sun.

Additionally, it is important to educate oneself on safe viewing techniques. Looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can be harmful. Instead, one should use the proper eye protection and periodically glance at the sun while taking breaks to rest the eyes. Alternatively, one can use indirect viewing methods, such as projecting the image of the sun onto a surface or using a pinhole projector.

  1. Tips for capturing photographs or videos of solar eclipses

For those interested in capturing the beauty of a solar eclipse through photography or videography, there are a few tips to keep in mind. It is recommended to use a solar filter on the camera lens to protect both the equipment and the photographer’s eyes. This filter will reduce the intensity of the sunlight and allow for clearer images of the eclipse.

Using a tripod or stable surface is essential to avoid camera shake and ensure sharp images. Experimenting with different exposure settings and focal lengths can help capture unique perspectives of the eclipse. It is also advisable to practice capturing the sun prior to the eclipse to familiarize oneself with the camera settings and techniques.

In conclusion, the future holds exciting prospects for solar eclipses in Missouri. With upcoming events on the horizon, it is important to plan ahead, prioritize safety, and make the most of these extraordinary celestial occurrences. Whether you choose to witness the eclipse firsthand or capture its beauty through photography, these events offer a chance to marvel at the wonders of the universe and deepen our understanding of the cosmos. Stay informed, stay prepared, and get ready to be amazed by the magic of a solar eclipse.


In conclusion, solar eclipses are fascinating celestial events that capture the attention and excitement of people around the world. Missouri has a rich history of solar eclipses, with notable events in the past that have contributed to scientific research and cultural significance.

The last solar eclipse in Missouri occurred on August 21, 2017. This event was particularly special because it was a total solar eclipse, meaning the Moon completely blocked the Sun, creating a moment of darkness during the day. The path of totality, where the eclipse was visible in its entirety, passed through several cities in Missouri, including St. Joseph, Columbia, and St. Louis.

The public interest and participation in observing the eclipse were overwhelming. People from all over the state and beyond gathered in Missouri to witness this rare phenomenon. Local communities embraced the eclipse, organizing events, and providing resources for safe viewing. The eclipse also had a significant impact on tourism, with visitors flocking to Missouri to experience this extraordinary event.

Solar eclipses hold great scientific importance. They provide opportunities for studying the Sun and its corona, which is usually not visible due to the Sun’s intense brightness. Scientists can gather valuable data on the Earth’s atmosphere and its effects during an eclipse, contributing to our understanding of our planet’s environment.

Furthermore, solar eclipses have cultural and historical significance. Throughout history, eclipses have been associated with various beliefs and myths. They have inspired art, literature, and cultural practices in different societies. Famous historical events, such as the solar eclipse that occurred during the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879, have been shaped by the occurrence of these celestial events.

Looking ahead, there are upcoming solar eclipses that will be visible in Missouri. It is essential for readers to stay updated on these events and participate in observing them. Planning and safety measures are crucial when observing solar eclipses to protect our eyes from the harmful effects of direct sunlight. Proper eye protection and safe viewing techniques should always be followed.

In conclusion, solar eclipses are awe-inspiring events that offer a unique opportunity to witness the wonders of the universe. Missouri has a rich history of solar eclipses, and the last eclipse in 2017 was a memorable experience for those who witnessed it. As we look forward to future eclipses, let us continue to appreciate the significance and excitement that these celestial events bring. Stay informed, stay safe, and enjoy the beauty of solar eclipses.