A total solar eclipse will pass through the United States on August 21st. Those in Kirksville can see it from around 11 am until 2:40 p.m.
The sun will look completely covered by the moon in Columbia, St, Louis and St. Clair. Students can view it in Kirksville at 98.5 percent sun coverage at around 1:11 p.m.
Assistant Physics Professor Vayujeet Gokhale said this eclipse is rare because it is a total eclipse of the sun and it will only be seen from the United States and parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Gokhale said in order to have an eclipse, the sun and moon will have to look like they are relatively the same size when seeing it from Earth. After that there are a couple of windows of time where the eclipse is happening.
The time of total sun coverage will only be about 2.5 minutes long.
Due to some class cancellations, some students will be able to visit places where the sun will look completely covered.
Gokhale and Dave Rector, vice president for administration, finance and planning, said that while administration did not wish to cancel the entire first day of classes, professors were welcome to cancel their first day of classes, with notice to their students.
Gokhale said students should be mindful of traffic as many people will be visiting Missouri during the eclipse. Gokhale said it is wise to wait until much later to return to Kirksville.
Planetarium director Jared Young said the rarity of the eclipse makes it less to worry about missing a class as one would assume.
“It’s just a matter of ending a class a few minutes early, or not having one at all,” Young said.
Truman’s Stargazers club will be setting up telescopes for eclipse viewing in various spots around campus, one of them being right in front of the planetarium.
Young heavily encourages students to purchase a pair of solar eclipse glasses.
A pair of classes can be purchased through the planetarium or from professor Gokhale for $1.