2024 Total Solar Eclipse

April 4, 2024

Einstein’s theory of relativity was proven during an eclipse.
During a solar eclipse in 1919, Arthur Eddington was able to test (and prove) Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity by observing the position of the stars in relation to the sun. — Angela Speck, professor of astrophysics at The University of Texas at San Antonio

The temperature will drop during a total eclipse.
During a total eclipse, the temperature shifts dramatically. This shift will vary based on location, but it will drop about 10 degrees Fahrenheit on average. — Dan Schneiderman, eclipse partnerships coordinator at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, a 2022 USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Award winner for Best Science Museum.

Total eclipses are rare but not that rare.
We think of total eclipses as rare but the occurrence of an eclipse isn’t actually that rare. A total eclipse occurs about once every 18 months. However, since Earth is 70% water, most eclipses occur over the open sea with very few people observing them. — Don Riefler, science programs manager at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, a multi-year winner for Best Children's Museum in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards.

Viewing an eclipse in the same location happens only once in lifetime.
While a total eclipse is not rare, the opportunity to observe an eclipse from the same location is incredibly rare. A total solar eclipse takes about 375 years to happen again in the same location. — Sommer Murphy, an early learner specialist at The Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, Arkansas, a past USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Award winner for Best Children's Museum.

A partial eclipse will be visible throughout all 48 contiguous U.S. states, such as neighborhoods like Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, Encino, Burbank, North Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, and Toluca Lake

Wildlife will respond to the shifting light of an eclipse.
As the partial eclipse progresses and the sky darkens, birds will begin their early evening routine of flocking/swarming and chirping loudly. As we plunge into the darkness of totality, birds will land and go quiet. — Speck at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

You'll see Baily’s Beads moments before totality.
In the seconds before totality occurs, it will seem like light is dancing on the sides of the moon. This phenomenon, known as Baily’s Beads, was named after a 19th century English astronomer, Francis Baily. It occurs when the moon’s craters and valleys break up the light. — Schneiderman at Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Eclipses mean different things to different cultures.
Different cultures have their interpretations of eclipses. In ancient China, dragons were said to be eating the sun. People would bang on drums to frighten the dragons away. In Navajo culture, eclipses are seen as a time for rebirth and quiet reflection. — LeKeisha Harding, director of equitable evaluation and impact, Thinkery Austin.

Stars and planets will be visible.
If you’re located in an area with little light pollution, you’ll be able to see some of the brightest stars, like Orion, and even a few planets — notably Jupiter and Venus. — Schneiderman at Rochester Museum and Science Center.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America
Eclipse Info

The path of totality and partial contours crossing the U.S. for the 2024 total solar eclipse occurring on April 8, 2024.

 

This map illustrates the paths of the Moon’s shadow across the U.S. during the 2024 total solar eclipse. On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North and Central America creating a path of totality. During a total solar eclipse, the Moon completely blocks the Sun while it passes between the Sun and Earth. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk and those standing in the path of totality may see the Sun’s outer atmosphere (the corona) if weather permits.


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