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Solar Eclipse Countdown Begins

The April 8 total solar eclipse in 2024 is about a year away. Start planning now for the celestial spectacle.

map of eclipse coverage across North America
Map credit: Michael Zeiler, GreatAmericanEclipse.com

Maps and resources from Michael Zeiler at GreatAmericanEclipse.com will get you oriented. Weather considerations to help with your site selection are at Eclipsophile, courtesy of Jay Anderson. Once you've got an approximate region in mind, an interactive Google Map by Javier Jubier helps narrow down a final destination.


Without question, you should strive to see totality along the narrow swath, for the difference between 100% solar eclipse and 99% solar eclipse is literally night and day. In 2017 I met a couple who had flown from afar to Boise, ID, but they did not drive a bit further north into the path of totality in the Sawtooth Mountains. Ouch.


Of course, eye safety is a most important consideration, and the leading source of relevant information--including where to buy solar shades and filters--is the American Astronomical Society. If you intend to buy solar viewers in bulk, don't wait until 2024, for you and several million other people will be having a similar idea about that time, too.


Meanwhile, encourage your local library to secure free solar shades through StarNet's Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries (SEAL) program.


On the Nightwise.org website, I will upload content to both my Eclipse 2024 page and to my blog under articles tagged "solar eclipse." Useful content including links from the 2017 solar eclipse are in a PDF; sorry, I don't have time to create a thorough and new Wix repeater.


eclipse-watching gear on hood of car at observing site


Some people like to observe eclipses away from any crowds, others prefer to attend sponsored events for the public. Discern your preference, pick your location, lock in your transportation itinerary, tell some friends, get eye protection (plus extra solar shades to give away) and anticipate the heavenly alignment.


The one-year countdown to awe begins.




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