DR. SKY BLOG

The Great American Total Solar Eclipse will be a sight to see

Apr 13, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: Apr 18, 2022, 12:16 pm

Solar eclipse seen Aug. 21, 2017, from Cullowhee, North Carolina.(Wikimedia Commons Photo/Vince Rei...

Solar eclipse seen Aug. 21, 2017, from Cullowhee, North Carolina.(Wikimedia Commons Photo/Vince Reinhart)

A most amazing celestial event is now less than two years away!

The event is probably the most amazing sight in nature and that is a total eclipse of the sun.

Mark your calendar for April 8, 2024, and make sure you have prepared well in advance for this special date. If you miss this one you will have to wait till 2045 to experience a similar eclipse here in the United States.

A total solar eclipse is a rare event by which the moon will have the near exact diameter as the sun in the sky. It covers the sun for a specific location and plunges the Earth into a special type of darkness.

The total solar eclipse is known as the Great American Total Solar Eclipse. The narrow path of totality will pass over a large portion of the nation.

Here is a map of the path of totality for 2024.

There are well over 30 million people in or near the path of totality; 12 million were in the path of the last American total solar eclipse Aug. 21, 2017.

On that morning in 2024, hopefully with clear skies, the eclipse first touches the far southern portion of Texas and moves at well over 1,500 mph, as it covers Dallas, Austin and other locations in the state.

Moving on towards Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and New York State. Moving fast over the states of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

The eclipse will hide the sun for some four minutes at best and lesser time in other locations along the path.

Here is a more detailed site providing the path of this eclipse.

Where will you be to see this rare event?

Now is the time to start preparing for the big show and there will be many hotels and places which will book up early.

The weather will play a large part in who gets to see this in a clear and cloud-free sky.

The weather up the line, the higher latitudes, may have less of a chance of seeing the event at best.

Here is a direct link to weather forecasts along the totality line.

This will be my fifth total solar eclipse. The best one which we got to view was the total solar eclipse from Rexburg, Idaho, on Aug. 21, 2017.

I was honored to lead a group of over 300 people at a great facility in Idaho.

Here is my video on that event and tips on viewing solar eclipses.

There are many amazing things which occur during solar eclipses and some of these include temperature drops of some 20 degrees in a few minutes and shadow bands moving on the ground. Animals react to this too in some interesting ways too.

Eye protection is a must at any solar eclipse and now is the time to purchase the proper type of solar glasses. You should purchase solar glasses which comply with the ISO standard: ISO-12312-2.

This will make for a safe and enjoyable solar eclipse event!

We will discuss more on this eclipse in future columns and plans for a special Dr. Sky eclipse event, possibly in Dallas at Dealey Plaza.

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday at 3 a.m.

Podcasts are available here.

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The Great American Total Solar Eclipse will be a sight to see