St. Joseph, Missouri Packed for Solar Eclipse

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Millions of Americans will be looking up to the sky later today for the first total solar eclipse to sweep the US coast-to-coast in 99 years. Don Champion is in St. Joseph, Missouri where people have been flocking for one of the best positions to watch the moon block the sun.

Millions will look toward the sky today for astronomical amazement.
For the first time since 1979, the moon will completely blot out the midday sun along a path stretching from Oregon to South Carolina.

"There's a hustle and a bustle and kind of an excitement and an anticipation," says Lysa Vattimo of the Madras Solarfest.

The tiny farming town of Madras, Oregon will be one of the first places to view the total eclipse around 1:16 eastern time.
In Carbondale, Illinois,  which will be in the dark the longest,  for 2 minutes and 40 seconds- thousands will pack this sold-out football stadium.

"The sight is something that's going to really please Americans, and make them think differently," believes Mike Kentrianakis of the American Astronomical Society.  



St. Joseph, Missouri is the fifth largest city along the so-called path of totality. Some hotels here started selling out more than a year ago!

Lauren Daves and her family rented a RV and drove here from Texas.  "It's gonna be incredible, just with the sky going dark and all the glow."

The Phillips family drove here from Oklahoma and will be camping out.  "You won't be able to see the moon. Or the sun. It's just going to look like a ring of fire," says 11-year old Alonso Phillips.

"I imagine at the moment of totality everybody is just gonna be in awe. And I just want to feel everybody in the same emotional state. I think that's gonna be empowering," says Alonso's father, Tony Phillips.

And an experience few will ever forget.

All of North America will get at least a partial eclipse today.  The next total solar eclipse will be visible in the U.S. in April, 2024. The next coast-to-coast one in 2045.

(Don Champion, CBS News)


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