SOLAR ECLIPSE | A Historic Day

For many Americans, April 8 will be a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one of the greatest displays in nature: a total solar eclipse. Partial solar eclipses — those in which the moon blocks a portion of the sun during the daytime hours — aren’t particularly uncommon. Total solar eclipses, in contrast, are far less common, especially for people who don’t have the means or interest to travel to obscure corners of the globe to witness them.


The solar eclipse of 2024, often referred to as the “Great North American Eclipse,” will follow a path across the United States, creating a spectacular celestial event. The 2024 solar eclipse’s path of totality will begin in Mexico and traverse diagonally across the United States from the southwest to the northeast. It will enter the U.S. in Texas and proceed through several states before exiting into Canada through the state of Maine. Other states in the path of totality include Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

The duration of the total solar eclipse, where the sun is completely obscured by the moon, will vary along its path. In some locations, totality will last for up to approximately 4 minutes and 28 seconds, making it one of the longest total solar eclipses for the United States in recent memory. An estimated 32 million people reside within the path of the eclipse, while millions more are expected to travel to witness this extraordinary event.

This makes the 2024 eclipse one of the most highly anticipated astronomical phenomena in recent history. Several major cities and regions will experience the total eclipse, including:

• Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas

• Little Rock, Ark.

• St. Louis, Mo.

• Indianapolis, Ind.

• Cleveland, Ohio

• Buffalo and Rochester, New York

• Burlington, Vermont

 • Portland, Maine

If you want to know when the eclipse will appear in your area, NASA has created an eclipse map that can give you all the details.


 Because of the unique nature of this year’s eclipse, many people are expected to travel to get a better view of the unusual heavenly phenomenon. Even months before the eclipse, hotels in some areas were reportedly sold out as sky gazers made reservations well in advance to ensure they had the best view of the event. It’s a good idea to plan early if you want to travel for the total eclipse.

Others are planning parties to mark the occasion, while many observatories and educators are holding special events in conjunction with the eclipse. Being something that happens so rarely in the United States, the total eclipse is a great way to teach and raise excitement around science and the natural universe.