2024 Solar Eclipse

The word “eclipse” actually comes from the Greek word meaning “abandonment”. A once-in-a-lifetime event, the total solar eclipse happens when the moon’s shadow illuminates a narrow stretch of land during the day.

Ancient Greeks believed that eclipses were a sign the gods were angry with humans and that the Sun would abandon Earth, bringing untold misery. A common Mesopotamian belief was that the gods used eclipses as omens to foretell future events.

Centuries later, the great scientist Albert Einstein’s 1911 paper predicted deflection of star light on the limb of the Sun to be 0.83 seconds of arc and encouraged astronomers to test this prediction by observing stars near the Sun during a solar eclipse.

On April 8, the moon will blot out the sun for 7.5 minutes of spectacular daytime darkness. The total eclipse’s path will pass through 13 U.S. states.

Describing the upcoming astronomical event this year, NASA said, “The eclipse in 2024 could be even more exciting due to differences in the path, timing, and scientific research.”

Known as the “Great North American Eclipse,” this rare phenomenon returns exactly six years, seven months, and 18 days after its last crossing of the U.S., from Oregon through South Carolina, on August 21, 2017.

According to NASA, the path of totality is wider this year than it was in 2017, and the eclipse will be more visible in the US than it has ever been.

Remember that you must use special eclipse safety glasses or viewers at all times during the partial phases of a total solar eclipse.