How to watch April's total solar eclipse online and in person

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This is the time of shadow, Child Soon, people living in North America will get to see their first solar eclipse in nearly a decade.

Even though the last solar eclipse in North America occurred in 2017, the next solar eclipse is not expected until August 2044, so it is important to capture the moment. More than a unique shadow, a solar eclipse is an ideal opportunity to hang out with loved ones and meditate on the smallness of humanity compared to the vast universe.

What is solar eclipse?

β€œIt is an alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth thus The Moon passes directly between the Sun and the Earth, blocks the Sun's rays from reaching the Earth's surface,” says Noah Petro, NASA's Artemis III project scientist. If you're in the path of totality, you'll see the Moon completely cover the Sun. Off the main road? You can still see a partial eclipse, where the Moon covers a piece of the Sun.

Despite the Moon's involvement, a solar eclipse should not be confused with a lunar eclipse. During that time, the Moon moves into Earth's shadow and turns dark red. A lunar eclipse is visible throughout most of the hemisphere that is in front of the Moon at that time.

When is the 2024 solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse will occur, passing through parts of North America Monday, April 8, Depending on where you are on the path of totality, the solar eclipse will occur in the afternoon and potentially last about four minutes. For more specifics, check out NASA's map showing the exact times different US cities will experience the eclipse.

Where will it appear?

While a total solar eclipse is mainly occurring Mexico and United StatesA small portion of Eastern Canada is also on the path to totality. To see what it might look like in different locations, check out this great website created by a retired mathematician that simulates a solar eclipse.

The three major Mexican cities where you can see the total solar eclipse are Mazatlan, Durango, and Torreon.

There are several places across America where you can potentially experience totality. Some locations include Dallas, Texas; Russellville, Arkansas; Carbondale, Illinois; Greenwood, Indiana; and Buffalo, New York.

It's important to find a spot where you can avoid clouds if you want the best viewing experience. “Especially in northern New England, we may have cooler, cloudy weather,” says Petro. “Through Mexico and Central Texas, you may be able to find locations where clear skies are more likely.”

Want to travel somewhere on the path to wholeness? You may have to get creative at this point, as many hotels and campgrounds within the main trail are fully booked for months. Maybe consider finding a place to stay about an hour away from the main route to stay overnight and drive to see the solar eclipse in the afternoon.

Do I really need to wear eclipse glasses?

the answer is Yes,

“Looking at the sun for any amount of time is really dangerous,” says Matt Bothwell, a public astronomer at the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy. “So you should get eclipse glasses to see the progress of the Moon across the face of the Sun.” And just wearing normal sunglasses won't do – you'll want eye protection that's ISO-certified for direct sun observation.