A total solar eclipse is crossing America on Monday, and while Carthage is not in the path of totality, 94 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon for up to two minutes.

A total solar eclipse is crossing America on Monday, and while Carthage is not in the path of totality, 94 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon for up to two minutes.
According to the National Weather Service in Springfield, the Joplin area will see 94 percent of the sun disappear around 1:15 p.m. Monday.
The moon will start moving over the sun in Jasper County and the surrounding area at 11:42 a.m. and it will clear the sun at 2:42 p.m.
The path of totality, the area where the sun will be completely covered by the moon, crosses Missouri north of our area from St. Joseph in the northwest part of the state to Ste. Genevieve along the Mississippi River south of St. Louis and north of Cape Girardeau.
A swath of Missouri about 60 miles wide, including the northern part of the Kansas City area, Jefferson City and Columbia, the southern part of St. Louis and Cape Girardeau will experience night during the day for as much as two minutes.

Weather and safety
The weather service is calling for mostly sunny skies with a high temperature around 91 on Monday, Aug. 21.
The weather service website has a page about the eclipse, which says “looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of the eclipse, when the moon entirely blocks the sun's face, which will only happen within the narrow path of totality.”
Robert Patterson, a professor of physics and astronomy at Missouri State University, says the six percent of the sun that will still be visible in the Carthage area at maximum coverage will still be too bright to look directly at with the naked eye.
He said the moment of maximum coverage will be 1:11 p.m. in Carthage.
“If you are outside at that time, it will be noticably darker and cooler, much like if a heavy thunderstorm with thick clouds were approaching,” Patterson said. “It will be dark enough you might see some of the brighter planets and stars like Venus.”
Patterson said people should watch the ground under trees for a phenominon they don't need special glasses to see.
He said the gaps between the leaves will create projections of the Sun and Moon on the ground and other surfaces, like the recommended pinhole projectors.
“I've heard of people holding a straw hat over the ground and creating a similar affect,” Patterson said. “I've seen it done with a colander from the kitchen you use to strain pasta. People take that outside and hold it up and it acts like dozens of pinhole projectors.”

A learning experience
The Carthage School District will hold activities on Monday to make the eclipse a “safe learning experience for our students,” the district said in a note to parents on its Facebook page.
The note says younger students, up to first grade will watch the eclipse through district approved websites.
Students in grades 2-6 will watch the event through approves solar eclipse glasses which will be provided to students on Monday.
Parents who want to sign their students out of school for the eclipse can do so.
Junior High students will see the eclipse in their science classes, again with approved eclipse glasses while the high school and tech center will run normal schedules.
“However, at the discretion of the teacher, individual classes may enhance their lessons for the day and make use of this educational opportunity,” the district said.