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What is a Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon lines up between the sun and Earth, blocking the sun’s light for a brief period. This exposes the sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, which is normally too faint to see.

The 2024 Solar Eclipse

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, starting in Mexico and ending in Canada. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the continent since 2017.

Where to See the Eclipse

The eclipse will be visible in a narrow path called the “path of totality,” which runs from Mexico’s western coast through Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine, before exiting from Newfoundland. Over 31 million people live within this path.

Safety Precautions

Never look directly at the sun during an eclipse, even if it’s partially covered. Use special solar eclipse glasses or a pinhole projector to view the eclipse safely.

What to Expect

During totality, the sky will darken and the stars will become visible. You’ll see the sun’s corona as a bright white glow around the moon. Other planets, such as Jupiter and Venus, may also be visible.

Other Interesting Facts

  • The corona’s appearance changes with the sun’s activity cycle, so each eclipse is unique.
  • In 2024, the corona is expected to be more spiky than in previous eclipses.
  • A comet called 12/P Pons-Brooks may be visible during the eclipse.
  • Astronauts on the International Space Station have seen the moon’s shadow as it passes over Earth during eclipses.