Throughout my life, I have always noticed articles and news about total solar eclipses, only to be let down by the fact that the eclipse was not visible in the United States. Thankfully, next year, this will change.
On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will be visible from the United States. The last time this happened was in August 2017, and the eclipse was very narrowly visible throughout the United States. Unfortunately, it did not cover a lot of ground. The next time this will occur after this will be in 2045, so you truly do not want to miss out.
The duration of totality (the time in which the sun will be fully eclipsed) is 4 minutes and 27 seconds. While the 2017 eclipse had an audience of around 20 million people, this one will be witnessed by many more.
During a solar eclipse, the Sun becomes completely obscured by the moon’s shadow, which causes a very unique view of the sun becoming darkened. Because the moon’s shadow is not large enough to cover Earth, we can only see the eclipse from a certain area. This is why the eclipse is only viewable to certain areas of the world at a time.
During an eclipse, the moon casts two shadows on Earth. The first is called the penumbra, which gets larger as it reaches Earth. Those in the penumbra will see a partial eclipse. The other shadow, the umbra, is the dark center of the moon’s shadow, which gets smaller as it reaches Earth. Those in this region will see a total eclipse.
The map of totality carts where the eclipse will be, and for how long, for easy viewing. This particular eclipse will make its way from Texas to Arkansas, into Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and Maine. There are a total of 31 million people who live in the Path of Totality for this eclipse. However, if you are not on its path-don’t despair. You will have plenty of time to take time to go see it!