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Published March 11, 2024

2024 Total Solar Eclipse: When, Where & How to See It

Everything to know about the upcoming total solar eclipse. ๐ŸŒ’

by Bucket Listers

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On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will sweep across North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. It will start over the South Pacific Ocean and then hit Mexicoโ€™s Pacific coast around 11:07 am PDT. Here's everything you need to know so you don't miss itโ€”the next time a total solar eclipse will be visible from the US will be in 2044.

 

What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

During a total solar eclipse, the moon completely covers the sun, casting a shadow on Earth and darkening the sky. This occurs when the moon aligns perfectly between the Earth and the sun, obscuring the sun's light. As the moon moves across the sun's path, it gradually covers the solar disk, leading to a moment of totality when the sun is entirely hidden. During totality, the sky darkens, and the sun's corona becomes visible as a faint halo around the moon. This awe-inspiring event lasts for only a few minutes before the moon moves away.

 

Where to See the 2024 Solar Eclipse


Map image via NASA

If you're in the US, you're in luck; the eclipse's path stretches from Texas to Maine, creating a narrow band where you can catch the full show. And even if you're not in that band, you'll still see a partial eclipse from anywhere in the contiguous US.

NASA provides detailed maps tracking the eclipse's path, starting from Mexico and passing through states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas before exiting through Canada, offering a rare cosmic show to areas like Southern Ontario, Quebec, and Cape Breton.

 

When is the 2024 Solar Eclipse?

The total eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, 2024, beginning in the US at about 12:23 pm CST. See NASA's table below to find the best locations for witnessing the total eclipse and those for catching a partial one.

 

How to View the 2024 Solar Eclipse

Except during the total phase of a total solar eclipse, it's unsafe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection. Cameras, binoculars, or telescopes without solar filters can cause severe eye injury. Safe solar viewing glasses or handheld viewers must be used during partial phases.

One way is to use a pinhole projector, which has a small opening (for example, a hole punched in an index card) and projects an image of the Sun onto a nearby surface. You can safely view the projected image with the Sun at your back.

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