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Crowd comes to watch solar eclipse at Missouri State Capitol


Many people gathered at state parks across Missouri to watch the total solar eclipse, as the state is in the line of totality for the solar phenomenon.

A crowd of about 20 to 30 people gathered on the steps of the Capitol around 12:45 p.m.

As the eclipse's totality approached more and more people, including some Missouri lawmakers and officials, came out to view the solar spectacle. The steps leading into the front of the Capitol were nearly full by 1:05 p.m.

Jefferson City resident Roy Michael came out to enjoy the eclipse at the Capitol on Monday. He said that given the perfect weather for viewing and almost being in complete totality, it was the perfect place to go. "I just wanted to come out here to the Capitol grounds because this time of year it's just so beautiful," said Michael.

He mentioned while Jefferson City will not see complete totality like it did when the eclipse passed through in 2017, seeing 95.8% coverage was just as nice.

Brian Seitz, State Representative and Chairman of the Tourism Committee for Missouri said Jefferson City has been expecting and preparing for eclipse watchers for over a year.

"In the tourism committee, we actually passed bills last year encouraging people to come to Missouri," said Seitz. "This is quite an event and also a boom to the economy," said Seitz.

Seitz said that the tourism committee was expecting more people for this year's eclipse than back in 2017.

"I think with the advances in social media more people know about the event, we've promoted it from the House of Representatives I think we're going to have hundreds of thousands of people and they're here right now to watch the eclipse. It's a holiday for us," said Seitz.

The eclipse begins at 12:40 p.m. before reaching its totality at 1:57 p.m. The eclipse came to an end at 3:14 p.m., according to the Missouri State Parks website.

Other local state parks, such as Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, also hosted eclipse viewers.

There was heavy emphasis from officials about wearing the proper eyewear during the eclipse. Failing to wear the appropriate eyewear could cause permanent damage to your retinas and regular sunglasses are not enough to protect. The Missouri State Library and the Downtown Book and Toy store in Jefferson City sold eclipse glasses to those who didn't have them already.

It will be another 20 years before the next total solar eclipse will be seen in the United States.

Article Topic Follows: Jefferson City
jefferson city
Missouri state park

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Gabrielle Teiner


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