An Iowa State University astronomer says solar eclipses like today's are more frequent than you might think. Prof. Charles Kerton says while they happen about every 18 months somewhere on the earth, the rarity is when they happen over populated areas. He says solar eclipses give scientists the opportunity to observe the sun's hard-to-see outer atmosphere, called the corona. In central iowa the eclipse should start at about 11:45 this morning, with maximum darkness at 1:10 this afternoon. The eclipse should end just after 2:30 p.m. only a small corner of southwest iowa is in the so-called "path of totallity." Clouds and rain are in the forecast for most of the day, so it's hard to say where in iowa might have an unobstructed view of the eclipse.