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4 Minutes of Daytime Darkness

The First Major Total Eclipse Since 2017 Is Here.

There will be a total solar eclipse on April 8th, 2024 People could be affected by this eclipse, especially if they live by or in parts of the US, Mexico, and Canada. “Solar eclipses only occur during a new moon phase, usually about twice a year, when the moon aligns itself in such a way that it eclipses the sun”. But this differs from a total solar eclipse. When there is a total solar eclipse, the moon will line up the perfect amount with the sun and basically block it and will make some areas completely dark. But this is different from a normal eclipse because the day before the eclipse takes place, the moon will take the closest approach of the month to Earth, putting it at 223,000 miles away. So the moon will appear slightly bigger in the sky because of this proximity that will make there be a longer time for darkness.

 “The Moon’s shadow will fall on Earth, creating a total solar eclipse across North America”. Those who aren’t on the path of totality will see a partial solar eclipse up to 99%. But this eclipse will plunge a 100 mile wide path of the US into expreme darkness. Usually a few weeks before or a few weeks after a Total eclipse, there will be multiple lunar eclipses leading up to the total solar eclipse.On March 24th into the 25th there will be a faint or penumbral lunar eclipse.According to NASA, aside from Carbondale, Illinois, which will be in the path of both the 2017 and 2024 eclipses, it typically takes 400–1,000 years for totality to return to the same location.Though this is one of the more time consuming eclipses, it isn’t the longest one recorded. 

Totality can last up to 7 ½ minutes like the one that happened in 1973 over Africa and won’t happen again until 2150 or sometime later. Or like the one in 1955 that lasted for 7 minutes and 8 seconds. Exactly six years, seven months and 18 days after the same type of solar eclipse crossed the U.S. from Oregon through South Carolina on August 21, 2017, this much longer event will be visible from within a narrow path of totality through Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, according to NASA.” On the afternoon of April 8, the total solar eclipse will plunge a 100-mile-wide path of the U.S. into near-dusk darkness during totality. Even those who aren’t along the path of totality will see a partial solar eclipse up to 99%, which is still an amazing sight”. 

But viewers must watch with caution. You need to be familiar with specialized eye protection that are specifically designed for watching solar eclipses. These are different than just regular sunglasses though. To make sure your glasses are the correct pair, they will have a specific number on the side piece of the glasses. This number would be ISO 12312-2. You can also make something like a pinhole camera. This camera will let light project onto a surface like a wall so that you can see what is happening without looking directly at the sun and can be made with a piece of cardboard or paper. Some that have not enforced safety precautions have faces retinal burns or shapes of crescents burned into their eyes but this is easily preventable. All in all, the 2024 April 8th total solar eclipse is a sight worth seeing. The eclipse turned out to be a very interesting experience because you could see how dark everything got and could check every so often through the clouds how the moon slowly covered the sun until it was fully dark. The same thing happened when it started to get bright again but in reverse as the sun came back out.


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