Eclipse Info

On August 21, 2017, the United States will see a total solar eclipse from Oregon to South Carolina. Cape Girardeau is in this path and will experience totality (darkness as the moon passes in front of the sun) for one minute and 45 seconds starting at 1:20:21 PM (CDT). Cape Girardeau will be an excellent viewing area. August 21 will be the first day of fall semester classes, though classes are canceled from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. so that students, faculty and staff can experience the total solar eclipse. A university committee, the SEclipse committee, has planned a full-day of activities beginning at 11:00 a.m. and ending that evening with the launch of the annual Speaker Series. Student organizations and campus departments are planning academic lectures and festive outdoor activities throughout the campus. In April, a full schedule of August 21, 2017 activities will be available.

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On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature's most wondrous spectacle - a total eclipse of the sun. The moon completely blocks the sun.


A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun. On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all of North America. The whole continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting 2 to 3 hours as the moon passes in front of the sun.


Halfway through the event, anyone within a 60- to 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun's bright face. Cape Girardeau is in the path of totality, and for approximately 1 minute and 40 seconds day turns into night. The eclipse will make visible the otherwise hidden solar corona - the sun's outer atmosphere - one of nature's most awesome sights. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well.


The moon's shadow crosses through 10 states, making landfall in Oregon at 10:15 a.m. PDT. After Oregon, the shadow crosses through Idaho, Wyoming, and the northeastern part of Kansas. The shadow enters northwest Missouri at 1:06 p.m. CDT, and it will take 13 minutes for the shadow to cross into Illinois. Totality in Cape Girardeau will be at 1:20 p.m. CDT. From Illinois, it crosses into Kentucky and Tennessee. Finally, the moon's shadow moves into North Carolina and South Carolina before heading out to sea.

What to Expect:

During an eclipse, you may experience strange things. Apparent nightfall, dusk to dawn lights may come on. Shadows will look eerie. Breezes may vanish, and birds my come in to roost. A 10 - 15 degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature is not unusual.

Where to Watch:

Southeast Missouri State University will be hosting an event the day of the eclipse. Members of the community as well as local and regional schools are invited to attend the SEclipse event at Houck Field on August 21, 2017. Activities are being planned to take place on campus prior to totality.
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The last total solar eclipse was visible from Hawaii and Mexico on July 11, 1991. A total solar eclipse occurred on Feb. 26, 1979. While that event was visible in all 48 contiguous United States, totality was visible only in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and parts of Canada. The total phase of the 1979 solar eclipse was not visible in this area, but rather could be observed as a partial solar eclipse with up to 40 percent of the sun being covered by the moon. The last total solar eclipse that crossed the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic along a path roughly similar to the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse was on June 8, 1918. After the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, the next total solar eclipse visible in the United States will be on April 8, 2024.

Community Resources:

Need viewing glasses? Locations where you can pick up a pair around the Southeast Main Campus, River Campus and Regional Campuses are here.

Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701