Eclipses in Cape: What You Need to Know Eclipses in Cape: What You Need to Know

Cape Girardeau will be experiencing two major solar eclipse events in the next few months! We will see a partial solar eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14 with maximum coverage at 11:59 a.m. (only safe to view with eclipse glasses) and a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8 with totality occurring at 1:58 p.m.

Eclipses are an extremely rare event. A total eclipse occurs about once every 18 months in the world, and rarely do they occur over land, let alone in North America. Cape Girardeau residents are fortunate to experience a rare event—a total solar eclipse twice in seven years. To put in perspective how lucky we are, before the 2017 eclipse, the last total solar eclipse that occurred in North America was in 1979, and after our eclipse on April 8, the next one won't occur until 20 years later. This is a once-(or twice)-in-a-lifetime phenomenon you don't want to miss!

Eclipse Facts

On 2 July 2019 a total solar eclipse passed over ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The eclipse lasted roughly two and a half hours, with almost two minutes of totality at 20:39 UT, and was visible across a narrow band of Chile and Argentina. To celebrate this rare event ESO invited 1000 people, including dignitaries, school children, the media, researchers, and the general public, to come to the Observatory to watch the eclipse from this unique location.

In a total solar eclipse, the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun and casts its shadow on the Earth. If you are under the shadow, the sun will be completely obscured by the moon, except for the sun's corona. This is known as totality, and it is the only time where it is safe for you to look at the sun without special eclipse glasses. The 2024 eclipse will experience totality for twice as long as the 2017 eclipse, approximately four minutes. Along the path of totality, darkness will fall in the middle of the day. Planets and stars may appear. The temperature could drop up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). Animals and insects may behave like nightfall has set.


The City will have multiple events celebrating the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

VisitCape Solar Eclipse Watch Party

VisitCape will be hosting a free event for the public from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Sportsplex! The event will include music, food vendors, kids activities, and giveaways! Click Here for more information!

Southeast Missouri State University

SEclipse 2017 at Southeast Missouri State University

At Houck Stadium, SEMO will have plenty of activities and events throughout campus for students, faculty, staff, and community members. The event will be the culmination of Southeast’s year-long 150th anniversary celebration! Click Here for more information!

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport

The CGI Airport will be offering discount prices on fuel. There will also be concessions from Sugar Chic creamery and Pilot House, as well as music, face painting, photo opportunities, and free snacks, water, eclipse glasses and t-shirts!

Arts Council of Southeast Missouri

The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri is partnering with Southside Farms to host an eclipse watch party to celebrate the grand opening of an eclipse-themed art installation entitled Now and Then. Professor Henry Dean of the Savannah College of Art & Design is installing his artwork nationwide, choosing locations along the path of totality. Cape Girardeau has been chosen as the emblem of his whole project. Additionally, students from across the region will contribute pieces that will serve to beautify the garden and other spaces in South Cape. Click Here for more information!

Eclipse at Fort D

The grounds of historic Fort D will be open from 12-4 p.m. Visitors should bring their own chairs and protective eye equipment. A cannon will be fired at the height of the eclipse!

Viewing Safety Tips 

SEclipse 2017 at Houck Stadium

The only safe way to look directly at the sun during an eclipse is through special-purpose solar filters, like eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.

Only during complete totality is it safe to view with your naked eye. Use special eclipse viewing glasses at all other times. It is not safe to look at partial or annular solar eclipses with the naked eye.

Do not use binoculars, regular sunglasses, smoked glass, or an unfiltered telescope to view a partial eclipse. 

If you're now bit by the eclipse bug, on March 14, 2025, at 1:30 a.m., there will be a total lunar eclipse visible in all of North America. A lunar eclipse is when the Earth's shadow covers the Moon instead of the Moon's shadow covering the Earth. The Moon will appear red when it reaches totality.

Cape Girardeau is a premiere destination to view the 2024 total solar eclipse! We have multiple options for lodging like campgrounds, hotels, or even renting a room in one of our historical brick buildings downtown! You can view lodging options here! We hope to see you in Cape Girardeau for the eclipse!


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