October 23 Partial Solar Eclipse
On Thursday, October 23 the Moon will pass between the Earth and Sun causing a partial solar eclipse. Partial solar eclipses happen when the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, but the three celestial bodies don't perfectly align (and the Moon only partially covers the Sun).
The partial solar eclipse on October 23 begins at 4:41pm in St. Louis with the maximum partial covering occurring around 5:47pm. As the Moon begins to pass in front of the Sun, it will slowly obscure a portion of the Sun. In St. Louis, 36% of the Sun will be eclipsed by the Moon. In our area, the Sun will be very close to the horizon, so the partial solar eclipse will not be very visible. However, you can watch the eclipse live online at http://live.slooh.com/. Due to the limited view of our horizon, the Science Center does not have any special programming or viewings planned for this partial eclipse event.
The Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri will be facilitating a viewing of the partial solar eclipse at Broemmelsiek Park in Wentzville, MO. The St Charles County Parks will be providing up to 500 pairs of eclipse glasses, and members of the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri will provide filtered views thru telescopes. First contact should be around 4:40pm, and sundown will end the partial eclipse at the park around 6:10pm.
An important reminder: NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITH YOUR EYES OR AN UNFILTERED DEVICE SUCH AS A TELESCOPE, BINOCULAR OR CAMERA. Doing so will cause severe eye damage that can lead to loss of vision. To SAFELY see this solar eclipse, you can use a pinhole projector as described here.
--Written by James S. McDonnell Planetarium Staff