A total solar eclipse over Earth
Tech & Auto
Everything You Need To Know About The April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse
Millions of people in North America will experience a total solar eclipse — when the moon completely blocks out the Sun — on April 8, 2024, the last one in the U.S. until 2044.
Although a total solar eclipse occurs somewhere on the planet every 18 months, the rare event only recurs in the same place, on average, every 360 to 410 years.
Totality — when the moon completely obscures the Sun — lasts a few minutes at most. You’ll want to be thoroughly prepared beforehand so you don’t miss it.
What makes a total solar eclipse special compared to other types of eclipses is that the moon and Sun appear the same size despite the Sun being 400 times larger and farther away.
When the moon passes over the Sun, it blocks it perfectly and creates breathtaking aftereffects that wouldn’t be possible if the moon were much larger.
During the different phases of the eclipse, spectators will witness the phenomenon known as Baily’s Beads when the moon is almost entirely in front of the Sun.
This effect appears to be sparkling balls of light on the edges of the Sun-Moon disk. These points of light are actually the Sun showing through the moon’s uneven surface.
Afterward, during totality, watchers can see the Sun’s chromosphere, which appears as a thin pink or red circle around the moon, and the Sun’s usually obscured corona.
The eclipse’s path will begin in Texas at 1:30 PM CT and then travel through states like Oklahoma and New Hampshire. It finally ends in Newfoundland at 5:16 PM NDT.
Most will be able to see a partial eclipse, but only those on its path will experience totality. If you plan on watching the eclipse, protect your eyes from the Sun’s rays.
NASA recommends solar viewers that adhere to the ISO 12312-2 international standard. You can also use optical devices that have the proper solar filters.