Solar Eclipse 2017

Your Guide to the Great American Solar Eclipse and Innsbrook FestEclipse Watch Party on Aug. 21, 2017

(For photos from this event, which has now occurred, please visit

The Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21, is a once-in-a-lifetime event worth making a long summer weekend at Innsbrook extend into Monday. Here’s what the Innsbrook Nature Group (IBK’ng) has planned for our FestEclipse watch party, with the kind assistance of the Innsbrook Property Owners Association.

  • Where:  Charrette Creek Commons
  • Who:  Open and free to all IBK property owners and their guests.  Eclipse glasses are free until we run out.  Quantities will be limited for large groups and families who are asked to share.
  • When:
    • 11:00  Set up your tents with stakes in a designated area by the Camp Innsbrook tents to avoid damage to irrigation system on the concert field.  Chairs and blankets can be on the main concert field.  You can also find a pool-side lounge chair. Begin watching the eclipse in other locations around the USA as we stream it live on NASA TV on the meeting center monitors. Join an exercise yoga group as they practice sun salutations.
    • 11:oo During this time we encourage photographers to meet up as a separate group to share what they have learned in preparing to capture the perfect image and souvenir.
    • 11:00 The Innsbrook POA will distribute the 200 glasses they have offered and which have been reserved ahead of time.
    • 11:15  Gather in the Commons meeting room with a short presentation using NASA-prepared content of what we’re about to see, safety precautions, and distribution of a handout and 200 Nature Group provided glasses. We will repeat this presentation at 11:30 if needed. If you can’t make either one, don’t worry, we will have a handout with the most important information.
    • 11:48   Start of partial eclipse. Viewers MUST BEGIN to use glasses to watch the eclipse progress.  Please share glasses within large groups as there is plenty of time as the eclipse progresses. Watch you children so that they don’t accidentally stare at the sun. You must also start using special filters on your cameras, binoculars, and mobile devices. Don’t look through any of them without filters on the outside of their lenses as glasses alone are not safe.
    • 12:00  As the eclipse progresses enjoy your BYOB beverages and picnic lunch, or a purchase poolside from the Summerhaus. At the Nature Group table we will offer a special complimentary adult beverage for those who complete our short survey of what you love the most about experiencing Nature at Innsbrook.
    • 1:00    Countdown to totality of the eclipse. Best time for photography so you can enjoy totality without distraction.  Be sure to use your glasses to look at the sun and use filters for cameras, binoculars, etc. We will use a loudspeaker on the field to countdown the time. Even though the eclipse may be near totality it is not safe to look at!
    • 1:15     Watch for a rush of cool air and the full shadow of the moon as it races across the ground approaching from the west at over twice the speed of  sound! The start of total eclipse will be announced as this is the ONLY TIME glasses can come off to see the sun’s corona.  Notice the dark, the quiet, the art of the corona. See more on what to expect and look for in content further down on the website page.
    • 1:17     End of total eclipse, glasses MUST go back on. Supervise children or the elderly in your group who may need help.
    • 1:30    Enjoy by toasting a celebratory beverage with us while listening to our Eclipse music play list, then cool off with swim in the pool.
    • 2:42    End of partial eclipse.


  • The event goes on even with cloudy skies as we will be showing in the Commons meeting room NASA’s live streaming of the eclipse from multiple locations as it moves across the country.
  • Plan to bring a picnic lunch or get food and beverages at the Summerhaus.
  • A spontaneous pool party may break out to cool off after the sun re-emerges.
  • We will have an area marked where it is safe to set up your personal tents, with safety stakes, and chairs.
  • We will have eclipse glasses available for free.  They will be first-come, first-served.  We ask that large groups and families share them. Purchase your own ahead of time if you have a large group or want to be sure you have plenty on hand. Innsbrook POA is also distributing glasses using a reservation system at .
  • If you have children in your party, you’re responsible for supervising their viewing safety as well as your own.

The narrow path of totality passes right through Innsbrook – Image of

This website page provides a curated list of resources and information on the eclipse. There will be additional updates to this content as we find and explore resources so please check back often.  If you discover something useful or fun, let us know at and we’ll check it out then share the info on this site with other IBK’ers. Subscribe to receive eclipse updates and event news by following our blog with entering your email where requested on the top right margin of any website page.

With all the information provided on this page, if you prefer to view or print it out as a PDF just click here: ibk-nature-solar-eclipse-info-v4

Start Here for Information

The most comprehensive website for the eclipse is from NASA.  It includes science background, great images, maps and more. It’s a fun site to explore at

Another great site is the Great American Eclipse website at

The regional St. Louis Eclipse Task Force has its own site at where you can find out about all the regional resources and communities hosting eclipse watching parties.

Sky & Telescope Magazine offers numerous resources, including tips for photographing the eclipse, at

Interactive Eclipse Map

Unable to extend your weekend at Innsbrook into Monday, August 21? With this interactive US map, you can zoom in and drop pins at various places you might be to see how the eclipse times and durations change with just a few miles.

As an example, here’s the information from the map for the Charrette Creek Commons location:

  • Latitude:  38.7542oN, Longitude:  91.06oW
  • Duration of Totality:  1 minute, 55.6 seconds
  • Obscuration:  100.00%
  • Start of partial eclipse (C1):          11:48:15 am
  • Start of total eclipse (C2):             1:15:31 pm
  • Maximum eclipse:                           1:16:29 pm
  • End of total eclipse (C3):               1:17:27 pm
  • End of partial eclipse (C4):            2:42:43 pm

Check out this from the Washington Post for an interactive map showing the moon’s shadow as it moves across the US starting at the Oregon coast:

Science References and Activity Guides on the Internet

Here is a collection of some of the most frequent questions and answers about eclipses at

StarNet and American Library Association Solar Eclipse Guide:

NASA Eclipse Activity Guide – it’s about halfway down the page of free downloadable tools from NASA:

NASA will also be live streaming the eclipse from land, air, and space based platforms: 

PBS stations across the country, including KETC Channel 9, locally will be broadcasting coverage of the eclipse as part of a same-day NOVA program at

Where to Get Solar Eclipse Glasses?

A safety reminder that viewing the eclipse without special eye protection is very dangerous, especially for children. We will have 200 paper filter glasses available at no cost for the eclipse party, in addition to those provided by Innsbrook Resort which may be reserved ahead of time at . If you have a large group or family attending, please consider ordering your own glasses where you can even imprint them with special messaging or branding

The only safe time that eye protection can be removed when looking at the sun is during the 2 minutes of the total eclipse. Not everyone has to have glasses as you can share these during the partial stage of the eclipse since that will run for almost 2 hours. But do not look at the partially eclipsed sun, or even a nearly fully eclipsed sun, without them on. Pay special attention to children in your group who should be supervised by adults in your group.

Glasses are available from these sources among others locally and over the Internet:


Make sure the glasses you purchase or are given to use are certified by ISO as being safe for viewing the sun. There are fake glasses being sold on the web! Visit to check your glasses ahead of time.

There are several sites that explain how to make a simple pin-hole projection box for children to keep them from accidentally looking at the sun. We have even been told that a kitchen colander makes for a cool multi-image projection by standing with your back to the sun, holding the colander in front of you, and then viewing the projected images on a large paper or ground.

Obviously, do not look at the sun directly thru the colander or any other makeshift viewing device. That includes viewing through cameras, binoculars, phones, or telescopes without solar filters or glasses.  Note:  the filters for these devices go on the outward most lens to avoid damaging your instrument.

Tips on Photographing the Eclipse

Warning: do not look through any device such as binoculars or telescopes that does not have special filters. This is true even with your eclipse glasses on! You will need special filters for your cameras, binoculars, or telescopes. These can be found from several sources including at Orion Telescopes at As an example for your binoculars, visit for solar lens filters that fit over the outer lens of the binoculars.

After the event we will encourage serious photographers to gather as a separate group to share what they have learned in preparing to capture the perfect eclipse image.  We already have some volunteers to help out with this. The best advice I have read for photographers is to try to shoot the partial eclipse as it progresses since it allows you time to fiddle with settings. But during the 2 minutes of the total eclipse, put down the camera, drop your phone, stop facebooking, and just focus on enjoying the moment with your eyes and all of you senses.

Here’s a couple of websites with useful camera tips: .

Schillers Camera in St. Louis is offering classes on photographing the eclipse and they also have other useful materials and filters:

What to Expect During the Eclipse and Our Watch Party 

Our eclipse watch party, or “FestEclipse”, will be held at the Charrette Creek Commons starting at 11:00 am on Monday, Aug. 21. We will start with a presentation in the property owner meeting room on eclipse watching basics presented by our very own subject matter expert who has volunteered to take training provided from NASA for community watch party leaders. Afterwards, we will move outside where over 200 hundred certified paper solar glasses will be available at no charge. Should the weather be overcast, don’t worry be happy as the party will go on with live broadcasts from NASA being shown on the meeting room monitors.  NASA is live-streaming from multiple locations so we can see the eclipse before it actually gets to us.

The partial eclipse at IBK will start at 11:48 am.  To begin with, only a small part of the Sun is covered by the Moon.  We’ll use our glasses to watch as the Moon moves across the Sun.  It takes some time for the eclipse to reach totality, so we recommend a picnic lunch or a sandwich from the Summerhaus during this time. Bring your own beverages but we also hope to have a batch of special dark side of the moon cocktails, for sampling by adults, created by resident mixologists.

Diamond Ring Effect During Eclipse – NASA Photo

During this time our subject matter expert will also be providing commentary and “factoids” with an eclipse trivia contest as it progresses.  As more and more of the Sun is covered by the Moon, you’ll see shadows getting sharper, temperatures getting lower, and the sky getting darker. Just before the Moon completely covers the Sun it will get significantly darker, and you may see “the diamond ring effect.”  For a  second you see the faint ring of the Sun’s  last crescent of light and then the bright  (diamond) flash of the last glimpse of the Sun. How will all the wildlife react?

The total eclipse at Innsbrook will be only 1 minute and 51 seconds long occurring between 1:15-1:17 pm. That is the ONLY TIME  that is safe to look at the sun’s corona with the naked eye.  Sometimes, you can see red or pink “prominences”, small tongues of hot  material jutting outwards.   The world is dark,  but it’s a darkness that is not quite like night, and nothing like a cloudy day. You’ll notice the absence of sound as wind dies down and living things seem to hold their breath.  The stars will come out at midday!  The brightest light will be the sun reflecting off of Venus.

During the eclipse four planets will come out of the darkness for a rare daytime viewing: Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury. Learn how to spot them at

At 1:17, you may see another diamond ring as the Sun emerges from behind the Moon. Then it’s time for the glasses again as the Moon slowly moves off the Sun.  It’ll all be over by 2:42 pm, and many of us can then claim to be one of the lucky few to have seen a total solar eclipse. We expect to jump into the pool to cool off and celebrate with a beverage after it is all over!

Please Help us Plan…

Do you plan to attend the Innsbrook Nature Group’s FestEclipse Eclipse Watch party at the Charrette Creek Commons?


Recommended Reading List

How fast is the solar eclipse? And 32 other questions answered” From the USA Today at  Everything You Need to Know About The Eclipse

“Eclipse, Journeys to the Dark Side of the Moon”, by Frank Close.

“Totality, A Complete Guide to the most Amazing of Celestial Sights”, by Mark Littmann & Fred Espenak.

“America’s 2017 Eclipse: Your Complete Guide to August’s Solar Eclipse” by Sky & Telescope at

Eclipse Trivia

  1. When was the last time St. Louis experienced a total solar eclipse?  Way back in 1442!
  2. How wide is the path of totality in Missouri? About 70 miles.
  3. Can you watch the eclipse as it begins without special glasses to protect your eyes? NO NO NO!
  4. When was the last time Missouri experienced a total solar eclipse? 1869.
  5. How long will the total part of the eclipse be at Innsbrook? Just under 2 minutes.
  6. Will it be a total eclipse across the entire St. Louis region? No it will not. Much of St. Louis will not be in the path of totality.
  7. How rare and fortunate are we at Innsbrook to be in the path of totality? VERY!
  8. How long does it take for the eclipse to pass over the entire US? About 90 minutes starting in Oregon and leaving in South Carolina.
  9. How fast is the full eclipse shadow moving across the land? An average of 1,700 miles per hour!
  10. Why is the St. Louis region going to be so popular for eclipse watchers from around the world? It will occur near midday in our part of the Midwest when the sun is nearly directly above us and free from atmospheric distortion, we are not far from the maximum duration time which occurs in southern Illinois, and we have lots of interstates leading in and out that eclipse chasers can use for a quick escape to other locales should this area become cloudy.

Soundtrack to the Sun

Every great event needs music so let’s put together an Eclipse Party Play List!  Send us your song suggestions and I’ll make a Soundtrack to the Sun!  Here’s a start:

  1. You’re So Vain, Carly Simon (You flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the Sun)
  2. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, Stevie Wonder
  3. Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Bonnie Tyler
  4. Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden
  5. Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
  6. Here Comes the Sun, Beetles
  7. When The Day Met The Night, Panic at the Disco
  8. Little Star/Eclipse, Sammy Hagar

4 thoughts on “Solar Eclipse 2017

  1. Great idea to have NASA’s live stream, but how are hundreds of people going to see it in a small room? Can it be projected on outdoor movie screen in concert venue for everyone to watch????


    • Yes, the glasses distributed by Innsbrook POA and the Innsbrook Nature Group are ISO 12312-2 certified. It’s a good idea if you got your glasses some other place to always double check as there are reports of fake glasses being sold.


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