Total solar eclipse 2024: How to watch solar eclipse on TV and online

Total solar eclipse 2024 will plunge parts of North America into darkness for a brief but awe-inspiring moment tonight
A representational image. — Freepik
A representational image. — Freepik

The total solar eclipse tonight has skywatchers buzzing with excitement. This rare celestial event will plunge parts of North America into darkness for a brief but awe-inspiring moment. But if you're outside the path of totality or simply can't make it outdoors, there are plenty of ways to catch the action live.

Primetime eclipse viewing: Broadcast networks

Calling all couch potatoes! All three major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, and NBC — will be airing eclipse specials starting at 2pm ET. Gadinsider gives a quick rundown of what to expect:

ABC's "Eclipse Across America" will be a true national spectacle, also airing on National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Disney Plus, and Hulu. You can also catch it on the network's social media platforms if you prefer a more interactive experience.

Bill Nye the Science Guy joins the party! CBS's "Total Eclipse of the Heartland" will feature appearances from the beloved science communicator, astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz, CBS News space consultant Bill Harwood, and none other than William Shatner himself.

Star-Studded Spectacle on NBC: "NBC News Special: Solar Eclipse 2024" will be hosted by Lester Holt from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the world's largest viewing site for the 2024 eclipse. Joining him will be a team of familiar faces from the Today Show, including Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker reporting live from various locations across the country.

Remember, you don't need a fancy cable package to enjoy these specials. Just grab your favourite antenna or tune in through an existing cable subscription.

Streaming the eclipse: Options beyond cable

Cord-cutters rejoice! Cable isn't the only way to witness the eclipse live. Here are a few streaming options:

CNN's Global Reach: CNN will have comprehensive live coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET. Their cameras and drones will be strategically positioned across the path of totality, with reporters providing insights from Mexico, throughout the US, and even onboard a special "Path of Totality" flight with Delta Air Lines. If you've already ditched cable, consider Sling TV, a top pick among live TV streaming services, to access CNN's coverage.

NASA — Your Gateway to Space: Space enthusiasts, this one's for you! NASA will be offering two free livestreams of the eclipse starting at 1 p.m. ET on YouTube and their NASA+ streaming platform. The NASA+ stream will include a special bonus: a live feed of the eclipse captured through NASA's telescope.

PBS NOVA — A Scientific Take: Looking for a more in-depth analysis? NOVA will be hosting an eclipse live stream on YouTube featuring NASA scientists participating in the Kerrville Eclipse Festival in Texas.

Stream ABC's Coverage on Disney+ and Hulu: Don't have cable but still want to catch the network's coverage? No problem! Both Disney+ and Hulu will be streaming ABC's "Eclipse Across America" starting at 2pm ET.

So there you have it! With so many ways to watch, there's no excuse to miss this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event. Mark your calendars, grab your snacks, and get ready to be amazed by the power of the universe!