Today, exactly four years ago, millions of people in North America will experience the longest entirety of their lives. You can look forward to it – and start planning.
On Monday April 8, 2024, a rare total solar eclipse of up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds will be visible in parts of Mexico, the United States and Canada The central shadow of the moon sweeps across the continent in 139 magical minutes.
It will be exactly 6 years, 7 months and 18 days after the “Great American Eclipse” on Monday, August 21, 2017.
“The most exciting thing about the total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024 is that the entire solar eclipse phase is almost twice as long as the 2017 solar eclipse.” said Michael Zeiler, an Eclipse cartographer who launched GreatAmericanEclipse.com initially in anticipation of the total 2017 eclipse. “Because it is so much longer, the breadth of the path of totality is also greater.”
It is estimated that 215 million Americans saw the event in 2017, though most only saw a partial solar eclipse – relatively unspecific by comparison. Only around 12 million experienced a total solar eclipse on the way to totality.
Viewers must be on the path of totality to experience the remarkable effects that are unique to totality. Falling temperatures, increasing darkness, exquisite “diamond rings” around the moon and the opportunity to see the delicate white Solar corona– the outer atmosphere of the sun – spills into space. It is a hypnotically beautiful and addictive experience.
On April 8, 2024 tThe 100 mile way of totality will plunge into a brief and fascinating darkness during the 139 minutes overland, parts of Sinaloa, Durango and Coahuila in Mexico and the United States, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, tiny fragments of Tennessee and Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
During the movement over Lake Erie and Lake Ontario on the border between the USA and Canada, the shadow falls on parts of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
This solar eclipse will be a much larger business than 2017. “While 12 million people in the United States lived on the 2017 solar eclipse path, 32 million people already live on the 2024 solar eclipse path.” said Zeiler.
“Taking into account the increased interest following the 2017 solar eclipse and the proximity of the solar eclipse path to the most populous parts of the country, it is possible that 40 or 50 million Americans will see the whole.”
That would make it the most-watched solar eclipse in history.
It will also be the longest whole for some time. “Since July 22, 2009, a large population had not seen a total solar eclipse lasting longer than four minutes, ”said Zeiler. “Since 2009 and before 2024, there have been several total solar eclipses lasting longer than four minutes, but only over small islands and remote sections of the ocean.”
For example, the last total solar eclipse peaked on July 2, 2019 at 4 minutes 33 seconds, but only in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. Although there were some happy Eclipse chasers on board Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner The vast majority in Chile and Argentina, where the path of totality landed, had around 2 minutes of total time to keep up with the lunar shadow (and actually experienced a whopping 8-minute whole).
April 8, 2020 is most of the way of totality over land.
Where can you see it? How about bnext to a lighthouse in Mazatlan on Mexico’s Pacific coast to see “first darkness”? Or above Enchanted Rock in Texas, at Niagara Falls or with the puffins in Newfoundland when the eclipse leaves North America on the Canadian Atlantic coast? “I expect to be in Texas on April 8, 2024 as the United States has the greatest chance of clear skies and the longest overall duration.” said Zeiler, who thinks San Antonio or Austin are great base areas.
In practice, Eclipse chasers are obsessed with the weather and are usually found on E-Day with eclipse lenses in one hand and car keys in the other. “I will keep an eye on the weather forecast a few days before,” said Zeiler. “If necessary, I’m ready to run towards the Eagle Pass on the Mexican border or towards Dallas.”
So we know why and where to see it, but what do we call it? The 2017 solar eclipse was referred to as the “Great American Eclipse” because it was the first in 38 years – and the first coastal eclipse in 99 years – and did not cross any country other than the United States. “In 2024, it could be called the Greater American Eclipse or Great North American Eclipse because of the length of more than four minutes and the crossing of so many metropolitan areas from Texas to Maine.” said Zeiler.
“After a 38-year total solar eclipse, the United States is very fortunate to do so Twin populations in 2017 and 2024“Zeiler said, but they are not all North America has on its heavenly schedule. There is also an annular solar eclipse visible in North America October 14, 2023. “A total eclipse follows you 2033 in Alaska, 2044 in Montanaand one straight longer total solar eclipse of six minutes in 2045“Said Zeiler.
“So 2045 would absolutely be the “greatest American eclipse” – you can be in Disney World or the Kennedy Space Center in the shadow of the moon. Hard decision!”
This is for the long-term planner. In just four years, however, it’s time to start planning for the Greater American Eclipse of 2024.
Disclaimer: I am the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and author of “The Complete Guide to the Great North American Eclipse of April 8, 2024.”
I wish you clear skies and big eyes.