Total Solar Eclipse 2024: When It Is, Where It Is, and Why This One Is So Special

You may have read that the world’s next solar eclipse is rapidly approaching—but how much do you know about when it will happen and why this one’s so special? Keep reading to discover all the answers, including where you will be able to see the 2024 solar eclipse.

What is a solar eclipse?

According to NASA’s explanation, “a solar eclipse happens when, at just the right moment, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth.” There are both partial solar eclipses (where the Moon only blocks part of the Sun’s light) and total solar eclipses (where the Moon blocks all of the Sun’s light).

An important factor of who can see the eclipse and what it will look like is the path of totality. This is essentially the path which the eclipse will travel through and is created through a shadow on Earth that the Moon blocking the Sun’s light makes. This shadow creates a trail as the Earth rotates and thus, determines the path of totality. For those within this direct path, total darkness will be experienced. However, many places on Earth will experience this only partially.

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When and where will the solar eclipse 2024 occur?

The next total solar eclipse will be on April 8, 2024.

The people who will most luck out with this one are those in the US. This total eclipse’s totality path runs right through 15 states, as well as some of Mexico and Canada. It will start at Mexico’s north pacific coast, going through Texas and run all the way up to Maine on the north east coast, then entering Canada and finishing in Newfoundland. It is due to last around four and a half minutes.

Those in Illinois are particularly lucky, as this is the second total eclipse they will have seen in just seven years; the norm is to only see one in the same place every 375 years. This makes it a very special occurrence.

How do I safely watch a solar eclipse?

Remember, you should never look directly at the sun without adequate eye protection. You should view the sun through eclipse glasses, or a special handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality. The only time you can look at an eclipse with the naked eye is when the Moon completely obscures the Sun’s face.

When is the next solar eclipse?

According to NASA, the next total solar eclipse that can be seen—from the contiguous United States, that is—will be on August 23, 2044.

This post was originally published in Glamour UK.

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