Kansas Citians might miss out on a partial solar eclipse that will be visible Thursday to most of North America.
“Unfortunately, with the storm system that is moving in, we are expecting quite a bit of cloud cover, along with showers and isolated thunderstorms through early (Thursday) morning,” said Pamela Murray, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
“Lingering cloud cover might make it difficult to view the eclipse,” she said. “We are not expecting the clouds to move out until late afternoon.”
That means that most of Missouri probably won’t see the eclipse. Those across eastern Kansas, however, have a better chance of seeing it.
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The partial eclipse of the sun will begin around 4:35 p.m., said David Hudgins, director of public relations for the Astronomical Society of Kansas City.
“Somebody with a means of looking at the sun will see a bite taken out of sun — a jet black bite that will get larger and larger,” Hudgins said.
During the next 50 minutes, the moon will cover a little more than 40 percent of the sun’s disk. The moon will then appear to move off the sun, with the eclipse getting smaller and smaller, he said.
Because the sun will set at 6:28 p.m., Kansas Citians wouldn’t see the end of the eclipse.
If the skies do clear, Hudgins cautioned that people need to use protection when viewing the eclipse. The un-eclipsed portion of the sun will be extremely bright and will damage eyes if viewed without filters made for solar viewing.
One of the easiest ways to safely observe the solar eclipse is to make a pinhole projector by poking a dozen or more holes into a 3-inch-by-5-inch card and then projecting the sun’s image onto white paper.
“For each pinhole, you will see an image of the sun,” he said.
Photographers also need to use filters or they, too, could hurt their eyes.
Because the sun will be near the western horizon, photographers can create wonderful pictures, Hudgins said.
Hudgins said Thursday’s partial eclipse will be great practice for a total solar eclipse that will be viewable in a narrow band including St. Joseph in August 2017.
“That is going to be a spectacular event,” he said.
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