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Solar Eclipse 2017: A View From The Quad Cities

Mariah Woelfel/WVIK

While it might not be the full solar eclipse that Americans are driving hundreds of miles to see, Quad Citians can still expect a show in the sky on August 21. 

Astronomer Dale Hendricks says the moon will cover about 90 percent of the sun here, casting darkness on the Quad Cities area in the middle of the day.

"It will probably have somewhat of a green hue to the shadow, but it will be very -- the word people use is eerie -- but it's kind of ethereal."

Eclipse activity will last nearly three hours in the Quad Cities on August 21. 

The moon will start covering the sun around 11:48 a.m., and reach maximum coverage for two minutes at 1:14 p.m. when it will cover 91 percent of the sun. The moon will move past the sun by 2:38 p.m, according to NASA.

Hendricks says it is imperative to use eye protection during those three hours when looking at the eclipse to avoid injuring your eyes. 

Credit Illinois Office of Tourism

When watching a total solar eclipse, it's possible to take look directly at the moon when it's covering the sun completely, but since the sun will be about 10 percent exposed in the Quad Cities, spectators should wear eye protection at all times. 

The Putnam Museum in Davenport will live stream the total solar eclipse from a location in Nebraska that will experience one of the longest durations of complete darkness.

Hendricks will narrate the event as the moon sweeps across the sun and covers it for about two-and-a-half minutes. 

"It's going to be deathly quiet, the birds will roost. It's going to be totally dark outside just like at night, and that causes people to have very strange feelings about what's going on."

Credit Illinois Office of Tourism

The total solar eclipse will cross 12 states from Oregon to South Carolina.

One of the closest viewing points where a total solar eclipse will take place is in Carbondale, Illinois — where the moon will cover the sun for about two minutes and 37 seconds. 
Those who wish to view the August 21 eclipse from the Putnam must register online on the museum's website. 

Hendricks says the Putnam will provide protective eyewear required to view the eclipse.