CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Where you watch the upcoming eclipse from on August 21 matters. Just a few miles in another direction will change how long you will see it.
There is a tool created by Xavier Jubier using Google Maps to see just how long you can view the eclipse.
Dr. Peggy Hill is a physics professor at Southeast Missouri State University. Her department is using the map for the eclipse, even using it to decide where she and her students will be stationed on eclipse day.
"To me, the best area to watch the eclipse is to be somewhere where there is totality, but where you're comfortable," Dr. Hill said. "There are a lot of waiting and there's a lot of things to observe. You want to be comfortable so that you can be attuned to your surroundings."
There are plenty of events going on in the Heartland. One is at the Sports Plex in Cape Girardeau was originally going to be at the airport but was relocated to a spot with a longer totality.
"It was a no-brainer," Brenda Newbern, executive director of Visit Cape said. "When we looked at different locations and saw that we could get more time we just decided we had to do it."
How can different locations so geographically nearby experience different periods of darkness during a total solar eclipse?
"Well, if you look at the situation. If you have two circles covering one another depending on how close you are to the center will be covered for a little bit longer time," Dr. Hill said. "If you're along that center line, then it will be covered for a longer time then along the edges."
Not everyone, however, is willing to travel just to have a couple extra seconds of the eclipse.
"Absolutely not," Rob Hente said. "You know, things come and go in life. If you happen to catch a couple seconds or a minute of it, so be it."
Many places just outside the path of totality won't actually experience a total solar eclipse, among those towns is Benton, Missouri.
"You're going to get 99.9 percent coverage, but that's not totality," Dr. Hill said. "You do want to make sure you're in the path of totality because that's where the best show is. You just want it to be a really nice experience. Good time to hang with your friends and socialize."
You check out the map created by Xavier Jubier by clicking here. Once on the page, insert your address in the top left section of the page. A box will pop up with a lot of information. The important ones for the average user will be next to "Total Solar Eclipse" with a time (for those under totality) and the information under the yellow line. That information tells you when the eclipse starts and ends. The time it gives is in 24-hour and is in UT (Universal Time). To convert that to central standard, subtract five hours from the time listed.
Find out more information about the total solar eclipse of 2017 by visiting the KFVS12 Total Solar Eclipse page.