The next total solar eclipse will be the last visible from the US until 2044

The next total solar eclipse – when the moon completely blocks the face of the sun – could be your last chance to see such an eclipse for decades to come.

Such an event is expected to pass through Mexico, the United States and Canada on April 8, 2024. According to NASA, this will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until August 2044.

During a total solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking sunlight and darkening the sky as if it were early in the morning or late in the evening. The last time such an eclipse occurred in the United States August 2017when, for the first time in history, the event could be seen across the continent almost 100 years.

Total solar eclipses happen every one to three years, but are usually only visible from the Earth’s poles or from the middle of the ocean.

While next year’s eclipse won’t be visible from coast to coast, the path of totality runs through more than a dozen states, including Texas, Arkansas, New York and Pennsylvania. It will begin over the South Pacific, before crossing Mexico into the United States, and will end after crossing Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador. Countries that are not on the path of totality will still be able to see a partial solar eclipse.

According to NASA, the first place in North America to witness the totality is the Pacific coast of Mexico around 11:07am PDT. While the eclipse will last for several hours, the total eclipse will only last about four minutes. Only in these few minutes can people safely remove their special eclipse glasses.

what to expect

The long-awaited moment of total solar eclipse – totality – is just a few minutes long process, and beyond this moment it is crucial that people wear special eclipse glasses so as not to damage their eyes.

The event will begin with the so-called partial phase, when the moon has not yet fully covered the sun, giving the giant star a crescent shape. In most places, it can take 70 to 80 minutes. As the moon approaches fullness, “Baily’s Beads” will appear – small rays of sunlight that quickly move along the moon’s horizon. Then, just before totality, the beads will disappear, leaving only one bright spot called the “diamond ring”.

Then the moment finally arrives – the sky is dark and the sun looks like a glowing black ball.

“During the whole thing, take a few seconds to observe the world around you. You may be able to see the sunset in 360 degrees. You can also see particularly bright stars or planets in dark skies,” says NASA. “The air temperature will drop and you will often experience eerie silence. It’s also worth stealing a glance at the people around you – many people have a deep emotional reaction when the Sun goes into totality.”

After just a few moments, the process that led to totality will repeat itself in reverse order and the eclipse will be over.

Upcoming events in the sky

Even though there is still more than a year left until the total solar eclipse, this is not the only opportunity to see the celestial event right outside your home. An annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central and South America on October 14 this year, which will be the last time such an eclipse will be visible from the continental United States until 2039, NASA said.

And if you miss a bit of space before autumn, just wait a few weeks.

AND bright green comet known as C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will appear to human eyes for the first and possibly only time. The comet, which has likely traveled billions of miles through space, is expected to make its closest approach to the Sun on January 12 and Earth on February 2, by which time people will only be able to spot the comet through binoculars – or with the naked eye if they’re lucky.

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