The next total solar eclipse is coming, and this time Texas will be in the path of totality.
The next solar eclipse to occur in the United States will take place on April 8, 2024. In August 2017 the path of totality went in a horizontal line across North America, reaching from coast to coast. The 2024 eclipse will be a more vertical arc, going from South Texas up to Maine within the U.S. It will also be the first eclipse visible from Canada since 1979 as well as the only eclipse in the 21st century fully visible in Mexico, Canada, and the United States.
How common are solar eclipses?
Occurring when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, they are more common than you think. Given that the last time the contiguous 48 experienced a total solar eclipse was 1979, you might think that they're pretty rare. According to NASA, however, solar eclipses happen pretty often, we are just not always in their path. When solar eclipses do cross the US, we don't always get to see the total eclipse. In fact, the last time a total eclipse was visible from sea to shining sea was nearly 100 years ago, in 1918. There have been many partial solar eclipses visible in parts of the United States throughout the years.
What is the path of totality?
Most of the U.S. saw a partial eclipse today. However, people living in a narrow cross-section of the country got to see the total eclipse, meaning the shadow of the moon fully covered the sun. The total eclipse lasts only for a few minutes. During that time, the sun's rays are still visible around the shadow of the moon, so it doesn't get completely dark. The amount of light visible during a total solar eclipse is similar to dusk.
What cities will be in the path of totality in the 2024 eclipse?
In Texas, parts of Waco, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio will be within the path of totality in addition to multiple other cities. Other North American areas including parts of Oklahoma, Little Rock, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, various cities in Ohio including Cleveland, and cities in Indiana including Indianapolis will be within the path. Parts of Pennsylvania including Erie as well as New York (including Buffalo and Rochester ) and Vermont and Maine will also be in the path.
If you want to see exactly where the total eclipse will occur, check out this eclipse map.
This post was originally published on August 21, 2017.