Where Will You Be April 8th, 2024?
That’s the date of the next total solar eclipse that will be visible in North America. A date when some areas of North America will experience almost 4 1/2 minutes of totality.
Imagine watching as the moon moves in front of the sun and you’re left standing in the shadow of the moon, captivated by the spectacular vision of the sun’s corona.
You won’t want to miss what may be a once in a lifetime event so be sure to add it to your bucket list. Especially if you’ve never witnessed a solar eclipse before.
Where Can I See The 2024 Solar Eclipse:
The 2024 solar eclipse will be visible from land in and near many large cities across North America with first contact in Mazatlán, Mexico at 10:51 am MDT. It crosses into the United States at the Texas border and arrives in the Dallas/Fort Worth TX area around 12:22 pm CDT. Traveling in a northeasterly direction it reaches Cleveland in the afternoon at 1:59 pm EDT and completes its journey across the continent darkening portions of the Northeast and Canada.
To view the eclipse you will want to make sure you are in the path of totality. You will also want to stay aware of the weather forecast in case you might need to adjust your plans or destination. You don’t have to be right in the middle of the area of totality, though the closer you are the longer period of totality you’ll experience. Click the map graphic to view the path of the eclipse across North America.
What Time Will The 2024 Eclipse Occur From Where You’re Viewing?
Have your viewing location selected? You can use this interactive Google eclipse map developed by Xavier Jubier to plot the duration, start and end times for the eclipse by location.
The map presents the time in UTC. You can search for online time converters similar to this one from dateful.com.
Great American Eclipse 2017 – Franklin KY
We travelled to Franklin, Kentucky back in August 2017 to experience the last total eclipse in North America. There we enjoyed 2 minutes and 34 seconds of totality. We reserved a spot in advance at the Franklin Drive-In. There we met people from all over the world that had gathered to watch. For most people attending it was their first eclipse though we did meet some professional solar eclipse chasers.
Here are a few tips if you will be viewing or travelling to a viewing location;
Arrive Early: If your plans include travelling and attending a large event like we did, plan to arrive early. You can expect heavy traffic before and after the event.
Book Early: If you’ll be booking a place to stay consider booking the night before as well as the night of the event so you can skip the traffic headache. Most importantly book early!
Order Early: Be sure to have ISO-certified-safe solar eclipse glasses & viewers on hand to protect your eyes as well as any camera equipment.
Here are a few images we took from 2017 you can click through.
How To View A Solar Eclipse:
The first thing to remember is to never look directly at the sun. Be prepared by purchasing protective eyewear well in advance that is specifically designed for eclipse viewing. Regular sun glasses do not provide protection and can cause severe damage. We purchased our glasses about 8 months in advance of the 2017 eclipse. When we checked supplies several weeks before the eclipse there were none to be found.
Protective Eyewear: In order to safely view a solar eclipse you will need ISO-certified-safe solar eclipse glasses & viewers. You can certainly use the old fashioned cardboard kind however we wanted something a bit more durable. The solar glasses we purchased were similar to what typical folding eyeglasses looks like. They actually fit over our existing eyeglasses so that we didn’t have to mess with swapping eyewear. Our order also came with several cardboard pair that we could have on hand for anyone that might have been unprepared. Here is a link to the solar eyeglasses we purchased. They also have the option to choose clip-on frames or wrap-around glasses. Once the Sun is fully eclipsed and the Sun’s corona appears you can safely remove your eclipse glasses to view the Sun’s corona. Just be sure to use your eclipse glasses or viewer when the Sun begins to reappear.
Photographic Filters: If you plan to take any photos before or after totality you’ll need to purchase a solar filter. You can purchase solar filters that will screw on to your existing camera lenses or choose a less expensive version that fits over the outside of your lens. That’s the option we chose. The lens we used accepts a 67mm filter. Initially we purchased a filter sized at 70 mm which was not large enough to fit over the outside front housing of the lens. We returned that filter with no questions asked and ordered the 76mm size filter which worked out perfectly. You can see how it fit over the lens in one of our gallery photos above. Here is a link to the lens filter we purchased.
Sun Protection: Since you’ll most likely be in the sun for an extended time be sure to wear a hat and sunblock. And don’t forget to bring chairs, snacks and plenty of water. You might even consider setting up a pop up canopy.
As totality begins to close in try to take note of a few things. Notice how the sky will begin to darken. If you can take your sites off of the sun for a few moments notice off to the west for hints of sunset, while in the east the sky is more bright. Notice how your shadow is changing. Look for stars and any planets to become visible and the temperature begin to drop.
Once totality has occurred it’s safe to remove your protective eyewear and enjoy the solar corona shining around the edges of the moon. Congratulate yourself for becoming a member of a small group of people to ever view this rare phenomenon. Take a look at the horizon and notice sunset in all directions around you. When the western sky begins to brighten you’ll know that this experience will soon come to an end… until the next one!
Warning To Photographers:
During totality, despite your best intentions, don’t be tempted and think you need to keep taking photos in order to capture that “perfect” shot. You will be amazed at just how fast those short 1,2 or 4 minutes will fly by. So don’t risk missing the pure enjoyment and beauty of the moment. Indulge yourself… sit back, relax. savor the moments and take it all in. You’ll be glad you did because it will be over before you know it. So feel free to plan a few snaps in advance if you wish, but be sure to stay aware of the time. Remember, no photograph will come close to capturing the memories of what you will see with your own eyes.
For more information and specifics of the April 8th, 2024 Solar Eclipse, visit Great American Eclipse.com.