Millions of North Americans enjoy April 8 total solar eclipse

Millions of North Americans enjoy April 8 total solar eclipse

Tens of millions of residents in North America enjoyed a unique total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, as the moon cast its shadow over the daytime sky, transforming midday into midnight. While North and Central America experienced a partial eclipse, only those situated within the path of totality, spanning about 115 miles wide and stretching over 10,000 miles, witnessed the moon completely obscuring the sun.

The moment of totality held millions in awe, drawing crowds from across North America to locations within the path of totality. During this event, the moon passed between the Earth and the sun, creating the illusion of the sun being blocked.

The path of totality traversed four states in Mexico, namely Sinaloa, Nayarit, Durango, and Coahuila, before sweeping across 15 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces, with an estimated 31.6 million people residing within the totality path in the United States alone.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon aligns perfectly with the sun, appearing to completely cover its disk and revealing the sun’s corona to viewers. This alignment’s apparent size depends on the moon’s distance from Earth, which varies due to its elliptical orbit.

The path of totality began in Mazatlan, Mexico, at around 9:51 a.m. local time, reaching the United States at 10:21 a.m. local time before continuing its journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

However, not all spectators were fortunate enough to witness an unobscured view of the eclipse, as nature sometimes intervenes. Despite cloud cover in Rochester, New York, observers still enjoyed the eclipse’s effects, with the clouds altering hue as the moon obscured the sun.

The next total solar eclipse is to occur on August 12, 2026, visible from Greenland, Iceland, the Atlantic Ocean, and Spain. North America will witness its next total solar eclipse on March 30, 2033, visible in Alaska, followed by a similar event on August 23, 2044, across parts of the United States and Canada.

Another eclipse on August 12, 2045 will be visible in California, Nevada, Utah, and some other states, as well as in the Caribbean and South America.

  • April 9, 2024
Universe & Existence