A Rare Eclipse of the Sun! Monday, April 8 2024

Eclipses of the Sun, where the Moon gets in front of the Sun and blocks its light, are among the most spectacular of natural events. On Monday, April 8, 2024, there will be an eclipse of the Sun visible from all of North America. In a narrow strip, from the west coast of Mexico, through Texas, Indiana, New York, Vermont and eastern Canada, the eclipse will be total (meaning that the Moon’s dark disk fully covers the Sun.) Some 32 million people live in the 115-mile-wide total eclipse path, and millions of tourists from around the country and the world are expected to travel there. In most places in North America, people will see a partial eclipse, with only a smaller part of the Sun covered. To find out what the eclipse will look like, and when it will happen, in your community, see: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2024-april-8 


Any time the Sun is not completely covered, you’ll need specially-made protective glasses or filters. Or you will need to project an image of the Sun with a pinhole or covered mirror with a small hole in the covering. 

Thanks to the Moore Foundation, 13,000 public libraries have been 

giving away eclipse glasses and an information booklet with eclipse maps, tables, and a fuller explanation of safe-viewing techniques. The booklet is at http://bit.ly/eclipsesforlibraries

booklet for educators with more information can be found at: http://bit.ly/eclipsesforteachers 


Two key things to think about in planning for viewing the eclipse is sky location and weather. In most places in the US, the eclipse will happen mid-day and therefore high in the sky. But if the sky is completely cloudy, as can happen in April, you won’t be able to see the Sun or the eclipse at all. NASA has plans to simulcast it from several clear locations.



About the Author: Andrew Fraknoi is a retired astronomer, college professor, and the lead author of the free, OpenStax Astronomy, the most-frequently used introductory astronomy textbook in the U.S. He is also co-author of a children’s book on eclipses, When the Sun 

Goes Dark, published by NSTA Press. (For more on his work, see: http://fraknoi.com)


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