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What is a Solar Eclipse?

Everyone is talking about the upcoming solar eclipse – us included! On August 21st, 2017, we will be able to witness a rare total solar eclipse. The path of this eclipse will pass directly through St. Louis, so you know the Moonrise Hotel will be celebrating! As we prepare for the exciting sights, we wondered how many people don’t know what a solar eclipse is. We decided it would be a good idea to offer a clear definition so you’ll know exactly what it is you are seeing.

What is it?

According to, a solar eclipse happens whenever the moon prevents the light of the sun from reaching the Earth. Think of the moon like a goalie, the sun like a net and the Earth like a forward. The moon will directly block the Earth from the sun. Partial solar eclipses can be viewed in a wider range, but still require that you are in a certain geographical location. If you catch a glimpse of a partial solar eclipse, you’ll see the sun peeking out from behind the moon. While seeing a total solar eclipse may be rare, solar eclipses actually happen every 18 months. You just might not be located in the right place to visualize the experience.

The moon will cast two shadows on Earth during a solar eclipse called the umbra and the penumbra. If you are located geographically to see a total solar eclipse, you will see the umbra. However, if you are able to see the penumbra, you will witness a partial eclipse.

Where can you view the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse?

Parts of fourteen states in the U.S. will be in the direct path to witness the 2017 total solar eclipse including:

  • Oregon
  • Missouri
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Montana
  • Kentucky
  • Wyoming
  • Tennessee
  • Nebraska
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • North Carolina
  • Iowa
  • South Carolina


You can even fly along with the shadow of the solar eclipse to see if you will be able to witness the total eclipse for yourself. If you will be able to see this extraordinary event, make sure to wear protective eyeglasses! Looking at a total or partial solar eclipse can damage your eyes and even cause blindness. In addition to protecting your own eyesight, make sure any little ones have eye covers, as well.

We will be hosting a viewing party on the rooftop with protective eyewear included. This event has been so popular, however, we’ve already sold out of tickets! As the event approaches, we may offer more tickets for the Solar Eclipse Viewing Party 2017, but only if the weather looks promising. We want to make sure that everyone in attendance can enjoy the sights. If you’re still interested in joining for the fun, keep an eye on the Moonrise Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts!