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Total solar eclipse 2024 - a celestial spectacle: What to expect, where and when

The total solar eclipse of 2024, occurring on April 8th, will be the last of its kind visible from the United States until 2044.

By: MOHAMMAD REHAN KHAN
Updated on: Mar 23 2024, 20:17 IST
Mark your calendars: On April 8th, 2024, prepare for darkness in broad daylight as the Moon's shadow paints the sky in a rare cosmic show - Solar Eclipse 2024. (NASA)

Mark your calendars for Monday, April 8, 2024, as a rare celestial event is set to captivate the skies: total solar eclipse 2024. It marks the final opportunity for sky gazers in the United States to witness such a phenomenon until 2044.

During a total solar eclipse, the Moon positions itself directly between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow over our planet. For those who are fortunate enough to be inside the line of totality, the Sun's ethereal corona will be fully visible, creating a stunning spectacle.

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This rare event provides a unique opportunity for spectators to witness totality, experiencing the darkness akin to dawn or dusk.

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However, the extent of this extraordinary spectacle depends on both weather conditions and your location. Clear skies are essential for an optimal viewing experience, although even with cloud cover, the unusual darkness associated with eclipses remains noticeable.

What to Expect

To witness the full spectacle, one must be situated within the path of totality, where the Moon's shadow entirely envelops the Sun. Outside this path, observers will witness a partial eclipse, necessitating the use of eclipse glasses for safe viewing throughout.

The stages of a total solar eclipse are a marvel to behold. From the initial partial eclipse to the striking Diamond Ring effect and the breathtaking totality, each moment offers a unique glimpse into the cosmic ballet of our celestial neighbors.

Where & When

The journey of the 2024 total solar eclipse will sweep across North America, starting over the South Pacific Ocean before ending in Mexico. It will cover the United States, crossing through states such as Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, and New York, before continuing its path through Canada.

Safety

However, safety remains important during this inspiring event. Except for the brief totality phase, direct viewing of the Sun can cause severe eye damage. Specialized eye protection, such as eclipse glasses or solar filters, is essential for safe observation.

Whether you're a seasoned astronomer or an amateur skywatcher, the 2024 total solar eclipse promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, mark your calendars and prepare to witness nature's grandest spectacle unfold before your eyes.

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First Published Date: 23 Mar, 20:16 IST
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