WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There has been plenty of excitement and anticipation building for the 2017 solar eclipse.
Interstate traffic from coast to coast is expected to be congested from spectators trying to get to the best spot for viewing this once in a lifetime experience. Scientists and astronomers call it totality, only visible as it rushes along a 70-mile wide path from Oregon through South Carolina — lasting less than three minutes at each spot along the way.
“It’s just the most incredible event and it’s over so quickly,” said Fred Espenak.
If you are not able to get to that corridor of total darkness, there is still plenty to see. Tens of millions across the country will experience a partial eclipse, but to watch it unfold you’ll need a pair of special glasses, if you can find them.
The only time you can take the glasses off while looking at the eclipse is during totality. Those who’ve witnessed the phenomenon say it can be overwhelming.
“It’s surreal, it’s something else, it’s otherworldly,” said eclipse chaser Mike Kentrianakis.
People in large parts of Nebraska, Missouri and northeastern Kansas will be able to see a total solar eclipse, weather permitting.
The total solar eclipse reaches the Sunflower State at 1:02 p.m. and exits at 1:09 p.m. The southern suburbs of Kansas City, Kansas will see the eclipse, but residents are urged to drive 40 or 50 miles to the north or east to increase their potential duration of totality up to two minutes and forty seconds.
Leavenworth will receive one minute and 32 seconds of darkness, while Atchison clocks in at two minutes and 17 seconds. Points near St. Joseph, Missouri will enjoy two minutes and 39 seconds, near the maximum total duration for this eclipse.
KSN will have team coverage of the eclipse with crews in the north part of the state in and near the totality area. KSN will also have eclipse coverage in Wichita and in Great Bend.
If you aren’t interested in traveling to see the eclipse, there are several viewing parties being held Monday.
Exploration Place in Wichita is hosting an Eclipse Party event from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Exploration Place Outdoor Entrance Plaza. Special glasses will be provided to the first 1,000 guests. Multiple food trucks will also be on site.
Friends University is hosting a solar eclipse watch party, open to students, alumni, faculty, staff, the Delano neighborhood and the public. The party will take place north of the Davis Administration Building from 11:40 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For eclipse enthusiasts in Hutchinson, the Kansas Cosmosphere is setting up a special solar telescope and binoculars.
Enjoy the view!