PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Riverfront Museum is offering a front row view to a rare “Ring of Fire” eclipse passing through the area on Saturday.
While the Peoria area will see about 50 percent of the eclipse, the museum will share livestreams from places with clear skies in the lobby and on social media.
“It’s kind of a cool way to see what’s happening in different parts of the country, and learn about the sun, get involved, even learning about telescopes and how we can use eclipses to study the sun and other aspects of astronomy. It will definitely be something worth watching,” said Renae Kerrigan, curator of science and planetarium director at Peoria Riverfront Museum.
Kerrigan said the eclipse can be seen in Peoria from 10:33 a.m. to 11:56 a.m., the latter being the best time. If skies are cloudy, the eclipse won’t be visible at all.
To view the eclipse on your own, its imperative to have a pair of solar eclipse shades to protect eyes. To take pictures or videos with your phone, Kerrigan said to buy solar filters and not use shades. Another option is to make a pinhole projector.
“Where you have a small hole in a piece of paper, the sunlight moves through it, and the image of the sun is projected into the ground. During a solar eclipse, you’ll see little eclipse sun, so its pretty cool. You can use a colander or even a Ritz cracker as a pinhole projector,” said Kerrigan.
Kerrigan said the next total solar eclipse in the area is on April 8, 2024. The Peoria region is about a three hour drive from the path of totality.
“It’s a really rare event. It doesn’t happen in a place that is easy for you to get to very often…If you’re in the path of totality, you can see the moon completely blackout the light of the sun in the middle of the day, it gets dark, you can see some starts, it gets significantly cooler, and you can see the beautiful shimmery outer atmosphere of the sun,” said Kerrigan.
In addition to livestreams, the museum will also offer activities for kids on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.