One year until total solar eclipse over USA
NEW YORK (AP) — Dust off your eclipse goggles: There’s only a year left before a total solar eclipse sweeps across North America.
On April 8, 2024, the moon will cast its shadow over part of the United States, Mexico and Canada, engulfing millions of people in midday darkness.
It has been less than six years since a total solar eclipse swept across the United States from coast to coast. That was on August 21, 2017.
If you miss next year’s spectacle, you’ll have to wait 20 years for the next one to reach the US. But this total solar eclipse will only be visible in Montana and the Dakotas.
Here’s what you should know to prepare for the 2024 show:
WHERE CAN I SEE IT?
Next year’s solar eclipse will trace a diagonal line across North America on April 8, which falls on a Monday.
It will begin in the Pacific and make its first landfall over Mexico at approximately 11:07 a.m. local time. NASA forecast. It will then cross over to Texas and traverse parts of the Midwest and Northeast in the afternoon.
In total, it will affect parts of 13 US states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Cities on his way include Dallas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Indianapolis; Cleveland and Buffalo, New York.
Parts of Canada — including Quebec and Newfoundland — will also catch a glimpse before the early evening eclipse heads out to sea.
A total solar eclipse will be visible within a 185-kilometer swath – the path of totality. Outside of this path, you can still see a partial eclipse where the moon bites away from the sun, turning it into a crescent shape.
Total solar eclipses occur about every 18 months, but they often cross remote areas where few people see them.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ECLIPSE?
Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s light from reaching us.
Although the Moon is about 400 times smaller than the Sun, it is also about 400 times closer to Earth, explained University of Colorado astronomer Doug Duncan. So if the orbits are aligned just right, the small moon can block the whole sun. If you stand in the right place, you experience totality: when the moon casts its shadow over the landscape.
“In just a few seconds, you go from bright, bright daylight to the middle of the night,” said Dr. Debby Brown, who saw her first total solar eclipse with Duncan in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park in 2017.
“The stars are out. Suddenly all the animals are quiet,” recalls Brown of Arlington, Virginia.
During the 2024 eclipse, totality will extend for about four and a half minutes – almost twice as long as in 2017.
WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE?
To capture the full eclipse experience, planning ahead is key, Duncan said. Weather could be a big factor as the eclipse comes in spring when conditions are unpredictable. For this reason, Duncan chose Texas for his Eclipse tour next year, where the chances of clear skies are better.
Your choice also depends on what type of experience you’re looking for, said Bob Baer, who coordinates Eclipse plans at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Carbondale – at the crossroads of the 2017 and 2024 eclipse paths – will once again hold a spectator event at the school’s stadium. It’s a great group experience, said Baer: “The last 20 minutes before totality, the stadium gets as loud as a football game.”
But you can find all kinds of Eclipse events planned along the Eclipse Trail: luxury cruises in Mexico, music festivals in Texas, farm camping in Arkansas, planetarium visits in upstate New York.
“Ultimately, the goal is to get as many people as possible outside and looking up during totality,” said Dan Schneiderman, who helps the Rochester Museum and Science Center plan events. “Hopefully with her close friends and loved ones.”
you will want it Grab some Eclipse goggles to see the partial phases before and after totality, Schneiderman added. Unprotected staring at the partially blocked sun can cause serious eye damage.
Brown and her husband plan to take part in Duncan’s Eclipse tour in Austin. Her first solar eclipse experience flew by.
“I’m looking forward to enjoying this for a longer period of time,” Brown said. “To just lean into the moment.”
WHAT OTHER ECLIPSES COME?
The US will see some eclipse action ahead of the big event in 2024. There will be an annular eclipse later this year – when the sun is not completely covered but appears like a ring of fire in the sky 14 Oct.
The path of this eclipse will be from Oregon down through California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
There will be a rare later this month hybrid solar eclipse, which alternates between a total and an annular eclipse at various points in its orbit. But few people will see it. The April 20th solar eclipse will take place primarily over the Indian Ocean, crossing only a few parts of Australia and Southeast Asia.
With a 20-year gap until the next total solar eclipse in the US, Duncan says it will be worth heading towards totality next year. He has experienced 12 total solar eclipses so far.
Seeing a partial eclipse — even when it’s 90% overcast — means “you’ve missed all the good stuff,” he said.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.