You may not have to travel too far to get a glimpse of the total solar eclipse this spring.
More than a dozen U.S. states from Texas to Maine are in the path of totality for the April 8 phenomenon, when the moon entirely blocks the face of the sun as it passes between the sun and Earth, according to NASA.
The total eclipse will start over the South Pacific Ocean, hitting the coast of Mexico shortly after 11 a.m. PDT and exiting continental North America over Newfoundland in Canada at 5:16 p.m. NDT. The path will also stretch through:
- New York
- New Hampshire
Parts of Tennessee and Michigan will also be able to see the total eclipse.
“The sky will darken, as if it were dawn or dusk,” NASA said on its website. “Weather permitting, people along the path of totality will see the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the sun.” Totality lasts as long as around four-and-a-half minutes depending on where the viewer is.
You can check your proximity to the path on NASA’s map here. The next total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous U.S. will not take place until 2044.
Totality is also the only time during a solar eclipse when it is safe to watch directly with your eyes. During the partial phases, viewers need to wear protective eyewear – regular sunglasses won’t cut it – or use a safe solar viewer.
“Viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury,” NASA’s website reads.
If you can’t travel, though, don’t despair. Even outside the path of totality, however, viewers in the contiguous U.S. – and beyond – will be able to see a partial eclipse.
Copyright 2024 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. All rights reserved. From https://www.usatoday.com. By Nathan Diller.