NASA says the total solar eclipse in 2024 will be visible for the last time in the United States for at least 20 years.

The next total solar eclipse — when the moon completely blocks the face of the sun — may be your last chance to see one happen for decades to come.

Such an event is expected to pass over Mexico, the United States and Canada on April 8, 2024. According to NASA, this will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the neighboring United States until August 2044.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and the earth, blocking sunlight and darkening the sky as if it were early morning or late evening. It was the last time this type of eclipse occurred over the United States August 2017when people were able to witness the event across the entire continent for the first time in Almost 100 years old.

Total solar eclipses occur every one to three years, but the events are usually only visible from Earth’s poles or from the middle of the ocean.

While next year’s eclipse won’t be visible from coast to coast, the path of totality will pass through a dozen states, including Texas, Arkansas, New York and Pennsylvania. The total will begin over the South Pacific Ocean before crossing Mexico into the United States and end after crossing Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Countries not in the path of totality will still be able to see a partial solar eclipse.

The first spot in North America expected to experience totality is Mexico’s Pacific coast around 11:07 a.m. PST, according to NASA. While the eclipse will last a few hours, the totality will only last about four minutes. Only during these few minutes is it safe for people to remove their eclipse glasses.

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what are you expecting

The long-awaited moment of a total solar eclipse – totality – is only minutes out of an hours-long process, and apart from that moment, it is crucial that people wear special eclipse glasses so as not to hurt their eyes.

The event will begin with the so-called partial phase, when the moon has not completely covered the sun, giving the giant star a crescent shape. This can last between 70 and 80 minutes in most places. As the Moon approaches full, “Bailey’s Beads” will appear — tiny rays of light from the Sun that travel rapidly along the Moon’s horizon. Then, just before kidney, the beads will disappear, leaving only a single bright spot referred to as a “diamond ring”.

This is when the moment finally comes – the sky is darkened and the sun appears like a glowing black ball.

“During totality, take a few seconds to observe the world around you. You may be able to see the sunset in 360 degrees. You may also be able to see some particularly bright stars or planets in the dark sky,” says NASA. “The air temperature will drop and an eerie silence will often settle around you. It’s also worth catching a glimpse of the people around you—many people have a deep emotional response when the sun goes into its full glory.”

After only a few moments, the process that led to totality will be repeated in the opposite direction, and the eclipse will end.

upcoming celestial events

Although a total solar eclipse is still more than a year away, it’s not the only opportunity to witness a celestial event from right outside your home. the Annular solar eclipse It will cross North, Central, and South America on October 14 of this year, and it will be the last time this type of eclipse will be visible from the continental United States until 2039, according to NASA.

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And if you’re craving a little space before fall, just wait a few weeks.

a Bright green comet Known as C/2022 E3 (ZTF) it is set to appear for the first time and likely only to the human eye. The comet, which is believed to have traveled billions of miles through space, is expected to make its closest approach to the Sun on January 12th and its closest approach to Earth on February 2nd, at which time people might get a glimpse of it. Comet only with their binoculars – and if they’re really lucky, with the naked eye.

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