SUNSCREEN SPF 17: Students Preparing for the Future at MACC

What is the only event that can literally overshadow the first day of classes at MACC?


The “Great American Eclipse” will occur on August 21, which is also the first day of classes at MACC.  Although times will vary slightly according to your location, the eclipse will start around 11:45 a.m. and end around 2:40 p.m., with the total eclipse (for those in the zone of totality) occurring around 1:12 p.m. and lasting for a couple of minutes.

To facilitate the viewing of this rare solar event, classes will NOT be held from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Morning and late afternoon/evening classes outside of this time frame WILL be in session. (Classes that are scheduled to begin at 10:30 or earlier but end after 11:00 will be held until 11:00. Classes that are scheduled to start prior to 3:00 but end after 3:00 will meet beginning at 3:00.)  Certain programs may have alternate class meeting plans due to the requirements of their program, and students in those programs will be notified separately of plans for the day.

Each MACC campus will remain operational during this time as well with the exception of 12:30-1:30 p.m., when all campus operations will be suspended so that employees and students may participate in the viewing during the time of totality.  Each campus will have a designated viewing area, and free solar eclipse glasses will be provided (first come, first served).  Each campus will also have music, food, NASA livestreaming, and other activities to enhance your viewing experience. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to join with MACC in witnessing this momentous event.

The safety of our college community is important. Please read and observe the following safety tips.

Eye Safety (from

  • Only look at the sun through a solar filter. Do not view the eclipse with ordinary sunglasses or an unfiltered camera, telescope, or other viewing device.
  • Follow the instructions for use as printed on the eclipse glasses.
  • Inspect eclipse glasses for scratches or punctures and discard damaged glasses.
  • If you are in the path of totality, you can remove eclipse glasses only when the moon completely covers the sun. As soon as the sun begins to emerge again, replace your glasses to view the remaining phase of the eclipse.
  • If you are outside of the path of totality, use your eclipse glasses for viewing the sun directly during all phases of the eclipse.
  • An alternative method for safely viewing the eclipse is with a pinhole projector. (Create a small hole in a piece of paper, hold it toward the sun, and view the passage of the eclipse by watching the shadow below the paper.)

Travel Safety (from

  • Be prepared for traffic congestion, allow extra travel time, and have a full tank of gas.
  • Find a safe place to stop, park, and view the eclipse. Don’t stop along roads or park on the shoulder of roads.
  • Pay attention; distracted driving is dangerous.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Turn on headlights.
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before traveling.
  • Don’t wear eclipse glasses while driving.
  • Consider routes alternate to I-70 and Hwy 63 in travel to MACC Columbia.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk.

Who Can See It?

Everyone in the contiguous United States, in fact, everyone in North America plus parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will see at least a partial solar eclipse, while the thin path of totality will pass through portions of 14 states.

What is It?

This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location.  For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds.  The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.

Where Can You See It?

You can see a partial eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun, anywhere in North America (see “Who can see it?”). To see a total eclipse, where the moon fully covers the sun for a short few minutes, you must be in the path of totality. The path of totality is a relatively thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, that will cross the U.S. from West to East.  Over the next hour and a half, it will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.  The total eclipse will end near Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT.  From there the lunar shadow leaves the United States at 4:09 EDT.  Its longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.

Source: NASA

Free solar eclipse glasses will be available to students, faculty and staff for your viewing pleasure. A NASA livestream will be broadcast. Chalk art actvities on hand to express your solar flares of creativity, along with eclipse related displays and learning opportunities.


View our Archived Articles