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What is the 2024 eclipse?

On Monday, April 8th, 2024, a total solar eclipse will take place, crossing over North America, making it visible from Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon aligns perfectly between the sun and the Earth. The moon blocks all sunlight and a faint solar corona can been seen. Total solar eclipses happen about every 18 months, but it’s the location that’s important, because the path of totality is narrow and sometimes completely over the ocean. In 2024, we’re lucky because the path of totality is over North America.

What to expect when watching the eclipse

There are four phases of a total solar eclipse and to see all stages, you need to be in the path of totality. If you’re outside the path, you’ll still see a partial eclipse with the moon covering part, but not all, of the sun.

  1. When the eclipse starts, the moon will slowly move into place in front of the sun. It will start to get slightly darker and the sun will look like a cookie with a bite taken out of it.
  2. As the moon covers the entire disk of the sun, the world will go from bright and sunny to shadowy and dark in just seconds. It will feel a bit colder and any animals nearby will get really quiet, like it’s nighttime. A hush will fall. The moon will move into place and completely block out the light of the sun. Instead of the sun, you’ll see a faint ring of light. The sky will look like dusk and everything will be eerie and bright and absolutely unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
  3. After totality ends, the moon starts to move away and the sun starts to reappear, making an opposite cookie bite. Light will start to appear and you’ll start to hear animals making noises like it’s morning time.
  4. After the moon passes completely past the sun, the eclipse is over and you’ll be forever changed.

Right before and right after totality, you might be lucky enough to see either the Baily’s beads, a diamond ring, or rare double diamond ring. That’s when the light from the sun streams out from behind the moon’s irregular crater surface, making it look like a string of beads, where the beads are bright beacons of light.

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Where is the 2024 eclipse?

In short, the 2024 eclipse will happen over North America, first in Mexico, then in the United States, then in Canada. Think of an arc curving from the bottom South West corner of North America towards the top North East corner.

The 2024 eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean. The first location that will be able to experience totality (when the sun is completely covered by the moon) is the Pacific coast of Mexico at 11:07 PDT. From there, the eclipse will continue, entering the US in Texas. It will pass through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Tennessee and Michigan will also experience the total solar eclipse, in some small pockets. In Canada, the eclipse will enter in Southern Ontario and continue on to Quebec’s, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton. The last place to see the eclipse will be on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland at 5:16 NDT.

When is the 2024 eclipse?

The eclipse will start at 11:07 PDT and end at 5:16 NDT (local times).

Where is the 2024 path of totality?

The path of totality is a 115 mile wide path in the centre of the path of the eclipse. The closer you are to the centre of the path, the longer totality will last. 

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