2024 eclipse: A rare celestial event to witness

On April 8, 2024, North America will witness one of the most spectacular celestial events — a total solar eclipse
An undated image illustrating eclipse. — Canva
An undated image illustrating eclipse. — Canva

On April 8, 2024, North America will witness one of the most spectacular celestial events — a total solar eclipse. The path of totality will stretch from Mexico to eastern Canada, and millions of people are expected to witness this rare event.

What is total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on a small patch of the Earth’s surface.

Those who make their way to the “path of totality” will see the moon gradually slide in front of the sun, reducing it to a thin crescent and then finally blotting the sun out altogether — for a few brief but spectacular minutes.

Read more: VIDEO — NASA's view of a Martian solar eclipse

During totality, the sun’s wispy outer atmosphere, known as the corona, becomes visible, while the landscape down below turns nearly as dark as night.

When, where will 2024 eclipse be visible?

The 2024 eclipse will be visible from a slice of North America stretching from Mexico to eastern Canada. Along most of the eclipse path, people can experience more than four minutes of totality, compared to a maximum of around two and a half minutes back in 2017.

Nearly 32 million people live within the path, which will run from southwest to northeast, encompassing cities like Dallas, Little Rock, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Buffalo — with San Antonio, Austin, Cincinnati and the Canadian city of Montreal lying just at the edge of the 120-mile-wide eclipse path.

How to prepare for 2024 eclipse?

If you want to make the most of this dramatic event, you will need to plan ahead. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the 2024 eclipse:

  1. Get your gear ready: You will need a pair of eclipse glasses to view the eclipse safely. Make sure you purchase them from a reputable vendor.
  2. Find a good viewing spot: The closer you are to the centreline of the path of totality, the longer the eclipse will last. Make sure you have a clear view of the sky and avoid areas with tall buildings or trees that could obstruct your view.
  3. Check the weather forecast: Cloudy skies can ruin your eclipse viewing experience. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to travel to a different location if necessary.
  4. Be patient: The 2024 eclipse will last for only a few minutes, so make sure you are ready to enjoy every moment of it.

The 2024 eclipse is a rare and spectacular event that you won’t want to miss. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, mark your calendars and get ready to witness one of nature’s grandest spectacles.