In April 2024, a total solar eclipse will cast darkness over the skies of the United States

Millions of Americans will have the opportunity to witness an upcoming solar eclipse. Mark your calendars for April 8, 2024, as this is the date when you can catch a glimpse of the awe-inspiring total solar eclipse. If you’re wondering where to witness this celestial event, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out where you can see the eclipse and how you can watch it.

When is the total solar eclipse?

The upcoming total solar eclipse is scheduled for April 8, 2024. It will begin on Mexico’s Pacific coast at approximately 11:07 a.m. PDT and then make its way across various parts of the United States and Canada. The eclipse will conclude its path across continental North America at 5:19 p.m. EDT.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves between the sun and Earth, causing the sun’s light to be blocked. According to NASA, when the moon obstructs a portion of the sun, it results in a partial solar eclipse. However, when the moon aligns perfectly with the sun, completely blocking its light, a total solar eclipse takes place.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow on Earth as our planet rotates. This phenomenon is referred to as the path of totality, which is the area where the total solar eclipse can be observed.

The next total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. will occur on Aug. 23, 2044, following the April 8 total solar eclipse this year. The previous total solar eclipse that was visible from the U.S. took place in August 2017, marking the first time in nearly 100 years that a total eclipse passed over the entire continent.

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According to NASA, on October 14, 2023, parts of the U.S. were able to witness an annular solar eclipse. However, it is important to note that the sun was not completely covered during this event.

Where will the total solar eclipse be visible?

Approximately 31.6 million individuals reside within the 200-mile stretch of totality, which is the path where the complete solar eclipse will be observable, as mentioned by NASA. During the 2017 eclipse, it is believed that around 12 million people had the opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse.

The total eclipse will be visible in southern Texas around 1:40 p.m. local time, following its path over Mexico earlier in the afternoon. Oklahoma will begin to witness the full eclipse at 1:45 p.m., followed by Arkansas at approximately 1:51 p.m. and southeast Missouri around 1:56 p.m.

The eclipse will reach Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana at approximately 2 p.m., followed by Ohio at around 3:13 p.m.

The total eclipse will be visible in certain parts of Pennsylvania starting at 3:16 p.m. Shortly after, at 3:18 p.m., residents of northwestern New York will also be able to witness the phenomenon.

The storm is expected to pass through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine before reaching Canada at approximately 4:25 p.m.

Map of total solar eclipse path

NASA has created a visually appealing map that displays the trajectory of the eclipse as it travels from Mexico, passes through multiple states in the United States, and eventually reaches the northeastern region of Canada.

The eclipse is set to start at approximately 11:07 a.m. PDT, marking the beginning of this celestial event. From there, it will make its way northeast, passing through various regions of the United States and into Canada. Finally, it will exit continental North America at 5:19 p.m. EDT, bringing an end to this mesmerizing display in the sky.

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How can you safely watch the solar eclipse?

When the moon partially covers the sun during an eclipse, it is crucial to wear protective eclipse glasses to prevent any harm to your eyes. It is only safe to directly look at the sun when it is fully covered by the moon. However, it is important to note that before and after the totality of the eclipse, certain parts of the sun will still be visible.

Eclipse glasses are distinct from regular sunglasses as they are a thousand times darker and are required to meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard, as specified by NASA. To ensure their authenticity, the American Astronomical Society provides a list of approved solar viewers.

According to NASA, it is advised not to view the eclipse through a camera lens, binoculars, or telescope, even if you are wearing eclipse glasses. This is because the solar rays can potentially burn through the lens and result in severe eye injury.

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