Total Solar Eclipse to Cross North America on April 8, 2024

On Monday, April 8, 2024, North America is set to witness a total solar eclipse, with the celestial event passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the sun and the earth, completely obscuring the sun’s face and causing the sky to darken as if it were dawn or dusk.

Safety precautions are paramount when observing a total solar eclipse, emphasized NASA. It’s essential to use specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing to prevent eye damage. NASA also offers the opportunity to watch the total solar eclipse live as it traverses North America, from Mexico through the United States and Canada’s Atlantic coast.

Directly looking at the sun without proper eye protection, except during the brief total phase of the eclipse, can cause severe eye injury. NASA advises using safe solar viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers throughout the partial phases of the eclipse. Indirect viewing methods, such as pinhole projectors, are also recommended.

The upcoming solar eclipse in 2024 will differ from the one experienced in 2017, NASA noted. The path of totality, where observers can witness the moon completely blocking the sun and revealing the sun’s outer atmosphere called the corona, will be broader and more populated during the 2024 eclipse compared to 2017.

During the 2017 eclipse, the path of totality ranged from approximately 62 to 71 miles wide, while during the 2024 eclipse, it will span between 108 and 122 miles wide. Additionally, the 2024 eclipse path will pass over more cities and densely populated areas, making it easier for a larger number of people to witness totality.

An estimated 31.6 million people live within the path of totality for the 2024 eclipse, compared to 12 million in 2017, with an additional 150 million people residing within 200 miles of the path of totality. These differences in path width and population coverage make the 2024 eclipse an anticipated and potentially more accessible event for observers across North America.

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