Total solar eclipse: What to expect during the April 2024 event

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Sky watchers Across North America, they will enjoy April 8 when a total solar eclipse will pass Mexico, the United States and Canada.

The event will be visible to millions – incl 32 million people in the United States alone – Who live along the path the moon's shadow will travel during the eclipse, known as the path of totality. For those who live in areas that experience a total eclipse, the moon's shadow will completely cover the sun. People along the middle line of the path will see an eclipse that lasts between 3½ to 4 minutes, according to the Verge website. NASA.

the next Total solar eclipse It won't be visible across the contiguous United States again until August 2044. (It's been more than six years since The Great American Eclipse of 2017.) The annular eclipse will not appear across this part of the world again until 2046.

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming eclipse.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, completely blocking the face of the sun.

Those located in the path of totality, or locations where the Moon's shadow will completely cover the Sun, will witness a total solar eclipse. People outside the path of totality will still be able to see a partial solar eclipse, in which the Moon obscures only part of the Sun's face.

Idris Latif – Reuters

The 2017 total solar eclipse was seen over Mitchell, Oregon.

During a total solar eclipse, the sky will darken as it does at dawn or dusk, and there are several stages of the eclipse that skygazers can expect.

The Moon does not suddenly appear between the Earth and the Sun, but rather the event begins with a partial eclipse in which the Moon appears to take a “bite” of the Sun, making the Sun resemble a crescent. Depending on your location, the partial eclipse can last between 70 and 80 minutes NASA.

As the Moon begins to cross in front of the Sun, the star's rays will shine around the valleys on the Moon's horizon, creating glowing droplets of light around the Moon in a phenomenon called Bailey's Beads.

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As completion approaches, the Bailey beads will quickly disappear until a single point of light remains, resembling a giant, shining diamond ring.

Aubrey Gemignani/NASA

The effect of Bailey's beads is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, over Madras, Oregon.

The diamond ring will disappear when the total eclipse arrives, and there will be no sign of direct sunlight. Bright stars or planets may shine in the dark sky, and the air temperature will drop as the sun disappears. Sudden darkness makes the animals calm down.

The sun's atmosphere, or part of the sun's atmosphere, may glow in a thin pink circle around the moon during a total eclipse, while the sun's hot outer atmosphere, or corona, will appear as white light.

As the Moon continues its journey across the face of the Sun, the diamond ring, Bailey's beads, and partial solar eclipse will appear on the side opposite the Moon until the Sun rises. It appears again fully.

The total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Mexico, Canada, and more than 10 American states, while the eclipse will be in the shape of a crescent. A partial solar eclipse is expected To appear in 49 states – weather permitting.

The eclipse will appear for the first time over the South Pacific Ocean, then begin its journey across North America. Mexico's Pacific coast is the first completion point on the trail, expected at 11:07 a.m. PT (2:07 p.m. ET).

The route will continue through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. It will then cross Canada in southern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, ending on Newfoundland's Atlantic coast at 5:16 pm (3:46 pm ET).

Use our Interactive map To determine what the eclipse will look like from the viewing location.

The only safe time to see the sun without eye protection is during a “total eclipse,” or brief moments when the moon completely blocks the sun and no sunlight is visible, according to NASA.

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Otherwise, wear ISO 12312-2 compliant eclipse glasses or use a portable solar projector before and after totality, and at all times during partial eclipse.
Separately, you can observe the Sun using a telescope, binoculars or a camera with a lens Special solar filter on the frontwhich work in the same way as eclipse glasses.

Staring directly into the sun can lead to blindness or double vision. During the 2017 total solar eclipse, it was a young woman Diagnosis of solar retinopathyDamage to the retina as a result of exposure to solar radiation, in both eyes after viewing the eclipse with what doctors believe to be eclipse glasses that do not adhere to safety standards. There is no cure for solar retinopathy. It can get better or worse, but it is a permanent condition.

Sunglasses will not work in place of eclipse glasses or solar projectors, which are 100,000 times darker and meet international safety standards.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Spectators watch the partial solar eclipse wearing goggles over Garden City, New York, on August 21, 2017.

The lenses of solar eclipse glasses are made of black polymer, or resin filled with carbon particles, which blocks almost all visible, infrared and ultraviolet light, according to Planetary Society. Sunglasses do not block infrared rays.

For safe manufacturers and sellers of Eclipse glasses and filters for optical devices, including cameras and smartphones, see List sponsored by the American Astronomical Society.

Put on your eclipse glasses before you look up and remember to step away from the sun before taking them off again. Always supervise any children wearing eclipse glasses to make sure they do not take them off while looking at the sun.

If you normally wear glasses, keep them on and place eclipse glasses over them or hold a portable projector in front of them, according to the American Astronomical Society.

Don't look at the Sun through any unfiltered optical device — a camera lens, telescope or binoculars — while wearing eclipse glasses or using a hand-held solar viewer, according to NASA.

Solar rays can still burn through the filter on the glasses or viewer, given how focused they are by an optical device, and can cause serious eye damage.

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If you purchased eclipse glasses to see the “Ring of Fire,” keep the eclipse glasses and viewers for viewing the April total solar eclipse by storing them at room temperature in an envelope or in their original packaging to avoid scratches.

Eclipse Providing scientists with the opportunity to study the Sun and how it interacts with the Earth in unique ways NASA has selected several projects To finance during a total solar eclipse.

“Scientists have long used solar eclipses to make scientific discoveries,” NASA program scientist Kelly Couric said in a statement. “It helped us make the first detection of helium, gave us clues to the theory of general relativity, and allowed us to better understand the Sun's effect on Earth's upper atmosphere.”


The 2017 total solar eclipse was visible to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

One project will rely on NASA's high-altitude research aircraft to take images of the eclipse from 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) above the Earth's surface to capture previously unseen details in the sun's corona. The images could also help scientists search for asteroids orbiting close to the sun.

Amateur radio operators will try an experiment during annular and total solar eclipses to see how these phenomena change the way radio waves travel. Operators in different locations will record the strength of their signals and how far they travel. Scientists are interested in tracking this distance Because the Sun directly affects the Earth's upper atmosphere, or ionosphere, allowing radio communications to travel greater distances. But when the moon blocks the sun, that can change.

Scientists and citizen scientists alike plan to observe the most active regions of the Sun as the Moon passes overhead using the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope during both eclipses.

The sun is approaching now Solar maximum later this yearScientists are keen to capture this peak of activity through a variety of observations that can only occur during an eclipse.

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