Monday, April 8, 2024 will be midnight for tens of thousands of Americans. Residents of major cities including Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Little Rock, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo and Rochester will experience up to 4 minutes of night and day as the moon blocks the sun. Astrotourists from all over the world flock to the full path of the narrow strip of land where the sun is completely blocked, desperate to catch a glimpse of the other world.
This will be the first total solar eclipse across the country since one traced its path from Oregon to South Carolina on August 21, 2017. Next year will be longer and cover a wider path, creating a dark night and spectacular colors.
Missed the solar eclipse? You won’t have to wait long for the next one.
Before the total solar eclipse next year, a Annular Solar Eclipse on October 14, 2023. The annual eclipse will be visible from Oregon to Texas and visible where the sky is clear. An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon passes far from Earth between the Sun and Earth. Since the Moon does not completely cover the Sun (during a total solar eclipse), the circumference of the Sun creates a “ring of fire” effect.
Where to see the April 8 eclipse
In the midst of the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse, the path of the total solar eclipse will begin nearly 1,000 miles east-northeast of Samoa, but unless you have a boat, you won’t be able to see from there. It curves across the equatorial Pacific before swinging ashore at Mazatlán In the Mexican state of Sinaloa. It passes through Durango and Coahuila before crossing the Rio Grande and reaching the Edwards Plateau in Texas.
San Antonio and Austin are on the eastern edge of the path of totality, set to receive a few tens of seconds of darkness. In fact, downtown San Antonio doesn’t experience the entirety, while its northwest suburbs see several minutes. SeaWorld San Antonio, for example, has a lucky total of 2 minutes and 7 seconds.
Edge of the path of perfection sharp, Subtle movements deep in the track take more time to enjoy the show. For example, consider San Antonio’s airport. The eastern end of the northwest-to-southeast runway will experience only a partial eclipse, but the other end will have almost a minute of totality. Choose your location wisely.
From there, Dallas will see a full 3 minutes and 50 seconds after lunch, and Little Rock is scheduled for 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Indianapolis sees a total of 3 minutes and 50 seconds, which will arrive just before 1 p.m. Central Time. Dayton, Toledo and Cleveland are next, but Columbus is off the edge of the trail.
Burning Buffalo, Rochester and Watertown, NY will each be plunged into darkness for 3 minutes and 40 seconds, then the shadow will pass over northeastern Vermont, northern New Hampshire and rural northern Maine. On the Canadian side of the US border, Montreal will see totality for 1 minute and 20 seconds.
Some lucky places that saw the August 2017 total eclipse will see one again in 2024 — especially Carbondale, Ill., known as the eclipse capital of the United States.
If you’re planning a trip to see the eclipse, consider the weather. Historically, areas in the south and west, such as remote parts of Texas, have been more prone to clear skies. In New England and the Ohio Valley, weather has historically proven weak in early to mid-April, with clouds a real concern.
The largest area outside the total path, Covers most of North America, a partial solar eclipse will occur. But anyone who has seen a total solar eclipse will tell you the difference between the two – night and day.
Prejudice Occurs when the Moon only partially covers the Sun. You won’t be able to see the sun without proper protection (ISO-certified eclipse glasses, or welding glasses with shade 14 or higher). There is no significant change in the luminance (brightness) of the terrain until 80 percent of the Sun is covered by the Moon.
Don’t have safety glasses to view the solar eclipse? Go old school.
Bailey’s Bells Before the Moon completely covers the Sun, it appears a few minutes before totality. The last hints of sunlight peeking through the valleys of the moon will create pinpricks of brightness. They will eventually freeze into a single lighthouse Diamond ring. It’s only safe to remove your safety glasses once it’s gone – the fullness has begun.
The Sun’s corona, or the Sun’s atmosphere, is the only totality that can be seen from Earth. It resembles an elegant lion’s mane, is diaphanous in nature and glows a soft white. Each hair-like filament is solar material that traces the Sun’s magnetic field. Breathtaking.
The corona is hot – 2 million degrees Kelvin. This creates a hotter layer than the surface of the Sun. It is not very dense and is made up of ionized gases. In fact, it is only one ten-billionth of the Earth’s atmosphere at sea level.
The brightness of the Sun usually prevents direct observation of the solar corona. That’s why solar eclipses offer scientists such an incredible opportunity. All science aside, there are few sights as amazing as seeing the solar system in person. It is hard not to believe that the universe is a sentient being. During a total solar eclipse, one has to see it with the eye.
Chances of seeing a total solar eclipse are high, but not for decades
If you miss the next total solar eclipse in 2024, there won’t be another solar eclipse in the U.S. next year Until August 2044. The path of totality will only cross a small portion of the north-central part of the country — from western North Dakota to Montana — before curving north into Canada.
The good news is that there will be an even more widely visible total solar eclipse next year. On that day August 12, 2045A total solar eclipse will travel across the country from coast to coast, similar to August 2017, but will be wider and stretch south from northern California to central Florida.
The 2045 eclipse will be the nation’s last coast-to-coast total solar eclipse this century. However, there will be five total solar eclipses crossing small parts of the country 2052, 2078, 2079, 2097 (only known in Alaska) and 2099.
Justin Kreiser and Jason Samenow contributed to this report.