Monday, May 20, 2024

Total solar eclipse 2024: Live updates

AstronomyTotal solar eclipse 2024: Live updates


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Latest eclipse weather forecast

(Image credit: Joe Rao)

What does the weather look like for the April 8 total solar eclipse? Here we take a look at the national weather forecast to find out.

During the past week, the day-to-day weather outlook for the total solar eclipse on April 8 has been changing and some of the latest forecasts are not quite what we expected.

Read more: Total solar eclipse 2024: Here’s the national weather forecast for April 8

Weird things will happen on April 8

(Image credit: CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/D. Munizaga)

With less than three days until the total solar eclipse, we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful things you may experience during totality. 

From diamond rings to strange shadows and weird animal behavior, all will not quite be as it seems when the skies darken dramatically on April 8. 

Read more: The April 8 solar eclipse will bring weird sights, sounds and feelings

Rochester is raring to go

(Image credit: Daisy Dobrijevic)

Preparations are well underway at Rochester’s Museum and Science Center (RMSC) as we countdown to the big day! I enjoyed seeing some behind-the-scenes action as the folks from Visit Rochester and RMSC prepare to welcome eclipse enthusiasts over eclipse weekend. 

Rochester’s ROC the Eclipse 2024 festival is going to be totality awesome (see what I did there). 

The atmosphere is already building, the eclipse buzz is real. 

— Daisy Dobrijevic, reporting from Rochester NY. 

Read more: Why I’m going to Rochester NY to see my 1st-ever total solar eclipse

T-4 days to go, but what time is the eclipse?

A graphic illustration showing an image of a total solar eclipse with a moving clock face on the inside.

(Image credit: Daisy Dobrijevic/Canva)

Timings depend on where you are located along the path of totality. 

The first place in North America to experience the totality stage of the solar eclipse, whereby the moon covers 100% of the sun’s disk will be Mazatlán in Sinaloa, Mexico, with totality beginning at 11:07 a.m. MST (1:07 p.m. EDT) and lasting for 4 minutes 20 seconds.

For a list of location timings and more information read more: What time is the solar eclipse on April 8?

T-5 days to the total solar eclipse!

(Image credit: GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

We’re 5 days away from the Great North American Solar Eclipse of April 8 and if you are planning to try and see it yourself, you’ll need to know what time it begins. Luckily, Space.com’s  Daisy Dobrijevic has you covered. Her piece today on what time the 2024 total solar eclipse occurs includes times not only for totality across a North America, but also the partial eclipse that will be visible to locations not on the totality path. 

And if you’re hoping to toast the eclipse, there are 15 craft beers that have been created for the solar eclipse. Space.com’s Monisha Ravisetti has the details on where to find the brewers along the totality path with these special eclipse brews. 

(Image credit: Monisha Ravisetti)

The path of totality may have changed slightly

(Image credit: Photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

If you plan to watch the solar eclipse April 8 at the edge of the totality path, you might want to move further into the shadow.

New amateur calculations of the solar eclipse path suggest that variations in the local terrain might change if you see a total eclipse, or how long the eclipse is experienced, compared to older estimates.

Read more: Solar eclipse sights might vary on the edge of totality: report

What else will be visible during the eclipse?

(Image credit: STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Here’s what to expect when the skies darken during the total solar eclipse.

An observer in or near the path of totality for the April 8 solar eclipse, can make useful observations of the appearance of the moon’s shadow projected on the Earth’s atmosphere, before, during and after mid-eclipse. Also, valuable can be studies of sky darkness. 

Read more: Stars, planets and more will be visible during the total solar eclipse on April 8. Here’s where to look

Don’t forget to grab yourself a free pair of eclipse glasses

(Image credit: Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson)

Warby Parker, known for its affordable yet trendy lenswear, has announced that all of its stores will be handing out free solar eclipse viewing glasses starting April 1 until the big day. 

Up to two pairs will be provided per family. This will go on while supplies last! 

Read more: Warby Parker will give you free solar eclipse glasses for the big day on April 8

How to earn a ‘black belt’ in solar eclipse chasing

Here’s how you can earn a ‘black belt’ in eclipse chasing according to our skywatching columnist Joe Rao. (Image credit: Grant Faint via Getty Images)

Space.com skywatching columnist Joe Rao explores how eclipses repeat and what it takes to earn a ‘black belt’ in eclipse chasing.

While some eclipse-chasers have spent decades following total eclipses of the sun around the world, you don’t need to have done the same to earn a “black belt in eclipse chasing.” 

In this column, Rao explains how the upcoming eclipse of April 8 will offer (in his expert opinion) an opportunity to build some eclipse expertise.

Related: How to earn a ‘black belt’ in solar eclipse chasing

Feeling peckish? You better be quick!

(Image credit: SunChips)

SunChips, the wavy, multigrain chips brand from the snack overlords of Frito-Lay, are putting on their solar eclipse glasses for April 8, and offering free bags of a special eclipse-themed flavor during totality, the span of time when the moon completely blocks the sun. 

The limited edition Pineapple Habanero and Black Bean Spicy Gouda flavor chips can be ordered from the SunChips website, but only during the 4 minutes and 27 seconds that the moon’s shadow is passing over the United States. After that, they’ll be gone forever.

Read more: SunChips will sell exclusive total solar eclipse flavors only during totality on April 8

Millions will be on the look out, but will it be the most watched eclipse ever?

(Image credit: Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Approximately 44 million people live within the path of totality on April 8 with millions more predicted to flock from elsewhere to witness the spectacular event.

Whether it will be the most-watched eclipse ever, as the BBC claims, however, is harder to prove. It may well be, at least in some ways. But even if it is, that title will certainly not last beyond 1,211 days, when the April 8, 2024 eclipse will be spectacularly outshone by the “eclipse of the century.”  

Read more: Will the total solar eclipse on April 8 be the most watched ever?

How fast will the eclipse travel?

(Image credit: Daisy Dobrijevic/Canva)

When the moon’s shadow races across Earth on April 8 it will slow down and then speed up again. 

It will travel at speeds ranging from 10 million miles an hour — half the speed of the fastest supernova explosion ever detected — to as slow as 1,565 mph, about twice the speed of a supersonic aircraft. 

Read more to discover why: How fast will April’s total solar eclipse travel?

Check your eclipse glasses are safe!

(Image credit: Brian Farrell/Getty Images)

With less than two weeks to go, you’re likely all kitted out with everything you need to view the total solar eclipse on April 8. 

When it comes to solar observation, safety is paramount as viewing the sun directly and without protection can cause serious and long-term damage to your eyes.

This is why solar eclipse glasses are crucial for most to safely observe the eclipse but with such high demand for the vital piece of kit, fake eclipse glasses are rife. 

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is warning people about the risks of counterfeit and knock-off solar glasses so we have come up with a guide on how to check yours are safe. 

Read more: Fake solar eclipse glasses are everywhere ahead of the total solar eclipse. Here’s how to check yours are safe

What happens if it’s cloudy?

(Image credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images)

The question nobody wants to ask (but one we’re all thinking about).

Though everyone is hoping for clear skies, here’s what might happen if an eclipse-chaser’s worst enemy — clouds — decides to make an appearance.

It turns out a cloudy forecast might not be as bad as you would initially think, it all depends on the type, thickness and extent of the cloud cover. 

Read more: What happens if it’s cloudy for the April 8 solar eclipse?

What are eclipse seasons?

(Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

Two weeks to go! As we gear up to celebrate the total solar eclipse on April 8, we look at how and why eclipses come in pairs. 

Explore why the lunar eclipse on March 25 occurs 2 weeks before the total solar eclipse on April 8 in our helpful guide to eclipse seasons.

Read more: Eclipse seasons: Why the lunar eclipse on March 25 occurs 2 weeks before the total solar eclipse on April 8

Living on the edge… of totality

(Image credit: New York Times/Courtesy of Michael Zeiler (greatamericaneclipse.com))

With just 17 days to go until the total solar eclipse we are getting excited, are you? 

Here we take a look at some interesting and quirky incidents that have happened to people viewing total solar eclipses near the edge of totality, from when the “Big Apple” was sliced in half during New York’s last total solar eclipse in 1925 to the discovery of the “diamond ring” — a beautiful eclipse gem only visible for a moment before and after totality. 

Read more: Historical incidents of viewing total eclipses near the edge of totality

SkySafari is now 80% off

(Image credit: Tristan Savatier/Getty Images)

SkySafari is celebrating the solar eclipse, and you can grab it on a great deal through April 8.

The entry-level version of SkySafari 7, which features on our best stargazing apps guide, locates millions of planets, stars and constellations with a single screen tap. It is on sale right now for just $0.99, just in time for the next total solar eclipse. That’s an 80% discount from the usual $4.99, so make sure to act quickly.

Read more: Track the April 8 total solar eclipse with SkySafari, now 80% off

7 things to buy to safely watch and photograph the total solar eclipse

Celestron’s EclipSmart 2x Power Viewers offer magnification and solar filters all-in-one.  (Image credit: Amazon)

April 8 is just around the corner  —   do you have everything you need to safely watch and/or photograph the total solar eclipse? 

Total solar eclipses like the upcoming “great North American eclipse” are once-in-a-lifetime events. If you’re planning to see it, you’ll need the right equipment to see it safely or take pictures of the sun.

To help you choose, Space.com has assembled a guide to the 7 things to buy to safely watch and photograph the total solar eclipse to help you build your eclipse kit well in advance. Don’t wait! Supplies are sure to run out as eclipse chasers stock up ahead of the big day.

Related: Best solar viewing kit 2024: Observe the April 8 solar eclipse

How to view solar eclipse 2024 with items from around the home

The total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017 as seen through the holes in a colander. (Image credit: Coast-to-Coast/iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Total solar eclipses allow us to view the sun like never before.

But do you need an expensive solar telescope or camera filter to enjoy the total solar eclipse on April 8? Luckily, you don’t.

While solar eclipse glasses are the go-to way to view an eclipse, they are selling out fast this year. To that end, Space.com skywatching columnist Joe Rao offers an insightful column on how to view solar eclipse 2024 with items from around the home using many everyday household items. Don’t let a lack of gear keep you from witnessing one of the most breathtaking celestial spectacles there is!

Read more: How to view solar eclipse 2024 with items from around the home

Solar eclipse 2024 weather prospects: Q&A with an expert

A map of average cloud cover observed by the GOES weather satellites from 1995 — 2023 on April 8. (Image credit: M. Gunshor, UW/CIMSS)

With the big day less than a month away, many of us are wondering: Will it be cloudy on April 8?

Hopefully not. But to let readers know what they can expect in terms of weather on the day of the 2024 total solar eclipse, Space.com spoke with Jay Anderson, a meteorologist with over 40 years of experience in both weather forecasting and eclipse chasing.

While it’s too early to tell what the weather will be like in any particular area, Anderson walks us through how experts are already beginning to prepare forecasts for what we can expect during the total solar eclipse.

Read more: Solar eclipse 2024 weather prospects: Q&A with an expert

The total eclipse will make baseball history!

(Image credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

The total solar eclipse on April 8 will hit two cities that host Major League Baseball games that day.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon appears almost exactly the same size as the sun in the sky, blocking the entire solar disk for viewers in the path of totality, which, on April 8, 2024, stretches from Mexico, across 15 U.S. states and into southeastern Canada. Along that path lies Arlington, Texas, and Cleveland, Ohio, two cities that will host MLB games on April 8. That’s never happened before in the history of baseball or eclipses.

Read more: April 8’s total solar eclipse will make baseball history. Here’s how

Need some inspiration to keep little eclipse chasers entertained?

(Image credit: Photo by Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu via Getty Images)

“Every adult has a few childhood memories that stand out vividly from the blur that becomes our history,” said Debra Ross, publisher of KidsOutAndAbout.com, Chair of both the Rochester Task Force for Eclipse 2024 and Co-chair of the AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force, to Space.com. 

“The upcoming eclipse presents a once-in-a-childhood opportunity for parents to help shape a lifelong memory for their kids and create a vivid bond with them that will resonate into their future.”

From eclipse masks and pinhole cameras to capturing the emotions of the big day, here are some ideas on how to keep kids entertained! 

Read more: How to organize an eclipse event for kids: 9 things to do before, during and after the total solar eclipse 2024

Win a chance to watch the total solar eclipse from a jet!

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Hurry! You only have until March 14 to enter! 

The public charter jet service JSX has announced it’ll be arranging a specialty eclipse flight for winners of an online sweepstakes. 

Flight 4824, a release put out by the airlines says, will depart on April 8 from a JSX-dedicated hangar at Dallas-Love Field in Texas at 1:00 p.m. CT. 

The 30-seat jet will ascend 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) and travel within the path of totality — aka, the path along which you can see the moon totally eclipse the sun — then land back at the hangar by 3:00 p.m. CT. 

Everyone, of course, will get a window seat.

Read more: You could win a chance to watch 2024’s total solar eclipse from a jet. Here’s how

Witnessing a total solar eclipse is extraordinary

(Image credit: Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

A total eclipse of the sun is without a doubt, the greatest cosmic pageant that can be witnessed. 

The daytime darkness will devour portions of 15 states, and only those inside the path of totality will have a chance to enjoy the brilliant show in the sky. 

The delicate pearl-tinted halo known as the corona and the blood-red feathery markings called the prominences are visible only to those who see the total eclipse. 

Read more: What will it be like to experience the total solar eclipse 2024?

Take a trip back through time

(Image credit: Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

The total solar eclipse on April 8 will be one of the most-watched eclipses ever. But we have been captivated by such events for millennia and there’s no surprise why.  When the sky darkens and the temperature drops, all we can do is watch in awe as the spellbinding event unfolds.

Here we take a look at some iconic photographs through the ages of people enjoying the beauty and wonder of a solar eclipse.

Read more: Solar eclipse viewing through history: A roundup of some of the best photos

Stages of the total solar eclipse

(Image credit: Tristan Savatier/Getty Images)

Here we break down the entire chronology of the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8 as the moon’s shadow sweeps across North America. 

Explore what causes an “eclipse season” and learn about the mechanics behind a solar eclipse with this informative guide by our skywatching columnist and meteorologist Joe Rao. 

Rao also takes us on an in-depth and descriptive tour of each stage of the solar eclipse and what you can expect on the big day. 

Read more: A chronology of the April 8 total solar eclipse

How well do you know the total solar eclipse 2024?

(Image credit: Tegra Stone Nuess via Getty Images)

Only 28 days to go until the total solar eclipse sweeps across North America on April 8! 

But how much do you know about it? From exactly how long the moon’s central shadow will move across the planet to why the event will repeat for hundreds of years — and one day return to North America — here are ten facts that may surprise you. 

Read more: 10 things you probably didn’t know about the 2024 total solar eclipse

What to see and photograph during the eclipse

(Image credit: Harun Mehmedinovic / 500pxGetty Images)

From ‘shadow snakes’ and ‘double diamonds’ to Baily’s beads and the corona, there’s so much to look out for on April 8. 

While totality, may be the visual, experiential, and photographic highlight of the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, it’s far from the only thing to experience. Here’s what not to miss during the entire partial phases and totality.

Read more: 10 phenomena to see and photograph during April’s total solar eclipse

Eclipse maps, get your eclipse maps!

a map showing what the sun will look like across the united states during a solar eclipse on april 8, 2024

(Image credit: Larry Koehn/ShadowAndSubstance.com)

33 days to go! 

Make sure you’re in the right place at the right time for the total solar eclipse by navigating your way to the path of totality — the 115-mile (185-kilometer) wide route through Northern America where the moon will cover 100% of the sun’s disk.

Here’s a look at the path of totality for the 2024 eclipse using maps by cartographer Michael Zeiler of GreatAmericanEclipse.com.

Read more: Total solar eclipse 2024 maps of the ‘path of totality’

If you need a helping hand we have written a “how to read and understand an eclipse map” article to help keep you on the right path. 

Get yourself a free pair of solar eclipse glasses!

(Image credit: Hanneke Weitering/Space.com)

Warby Parker, known for its affordable yet trendy lenswear, has announced that all of its stores will be handing out free solar eclipse viewing glasses starting April 1 until the big day — April 8. 

Warby Parker confirms that the glasses, manufactured by American Paper Optics, are ISO-certified — which means they meet an international safety standard for solar viewing.

Read more: Warby Parker will give you free solar eclipse glasses for the big day on April 8

Check out this great eclipse map and app

The Eclipse App helps users find eclipse events within their local communities, track the eclipse from start to finish and find the cloud forecast for their proposed viewing area.   (Image credit: The Eclipse Company/background added in Canva by Daisy Dobrijevic)

The Eclipse Company has developed ‘The Eclipse App’ in partnership with the Planetary Society. It is available for free for iOS in the App Store and for Android in the Play Store.

The Eclipse App is a great resource for people wanting to connect with local communities that lie within the path of totality. Users can browse local communities and save an itinerary of activities, as well as seek out official parking locations and explore local points of interest.

Their online interactive map allows users to track the path of the eclipse, find out the best viewing locations and see what eclipse events are being hosted in their local area. 

Read more: Immerse yourself in the total eclipse 2024 with ‘The Eclipse App’ from The Eclipse Company

Astronauts on the ISS don’t know where to look (at least for now)

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli captured this shot of the solar eclipse of Oct. 14, 2023 from the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA/Jasmin Moghbeli)

The Expedition 71 crew, which will include SpaceX’s Crew-8 slated to launch no earlier than March 2, is finalizing its solar eclipse observing schedule. The goal is to catch the event from the International Space Station as it sweeps over the United States on April 8. 

However, NASA astronauts told Space.com on Jan. 25 that, while the cameras are ready and the astronauts are trained, timing can’t be decided for a long time. 

Read more: Why ISS astronauts won’t know where to look for next total solar eclipse for a while

Location Location Location!

(Image credit: Larry Koehn/ShadowAndSubstance.com)

Find out where the total solar eclipse 2024 will be visible from and make sure you’re in the best spot to experience totality at its finest.

The total solar eclipse will be visible through northern Mexico, parts of 15 U.S. states and southeastern Canada. It will be one of the most watched eclipses ever with over 32 million people living within the path of totality. 

Read more: Where will the April 2024 total solar eclipse be visible from?

Don’t get the eclipse wrong!

The path of totality for April 8, total solar eclipse. (Image credit: Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

With just 39 days to go until the total solar eclipse on April 8, now is the time to make sure you plan to be in the right place at the right time! 

Here’s why you need to get to the path of totality and why settling for “99% totality” will not do. 

Read more: ‘99% totality’ does not exist! Why you need to get to the path for April 8, 2024, total solar eclipse

NASA are investigating how the eclipse will affect nature

How will the total solar eclipse on April 8 affect nature? (Image credit: NASA/Robert Lea (created with Canva))

While humans will enjoy the majesty of the total solar eclipse as it sweeps across several states in the U.S. on April 8, 2024, the celestial event will also be experienced by flora and fauna.

That’s why the NASA-funded Eclipse Soundscapes Project will observe and collate the sights and sounds of the total solar eclipse to allow humanity to better understand how such events can impact wildlife. The agency is also urging the public to join in on this effort. 

Read more: NASA Eclipse Soundscapes Project will record how 2024’s total solar eclipse impacts nature

Space.com’s eclipse bookazine is now available

(Image credit: Future)

Space.com has come to print with a special magazine that guides you through all the information you will need to safely view and enjoy the most exciting astronomical event of 2024: a total solar eclipse that will sweep across the United States on April 8. It’s on sale now, and you can buy it here through Magazines Direct. 

Read more: Get ready for the 2024 total solar eclipse with Space.com with our ‘Eclipses’ bookazine

Time to test drive those eclipse glasses!

(Image credit: Daniel MacDonald / www.dmacphoto.com via Getty Images)

If you’re all prepared for the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8 then it’s likely you have already got your eclipse glasses at the ready, so why not give them a test run before the big day?

With certified solar eclipse glasses you may be able to see the largest sunspot of Solar Cycle 25 — AR3590 — on the surface of the sun! Remember to NEVER look at the sun without appropriate safety equipment, only Observers need to wear solar eclipse glasses, and cameras, telescopes and binoculars must have solar filters placed in front of their lenses at all times.  

Want some more tips on how to view the sun and what to look out for check out our handy sun viewing guide. 

Delta Air Lines offers special eclipse flight

A composite of two photographs, depicting a solar eclipse seen though an aircraft window. (Image credit: Getty Images/Raqul Lonas/Xuanyu Han)

We’re now just 46 days out from the total solar eclipse on April 8; do you know where you’ll be seeing it from?

If you’re still making plans, Delta Air Lines is offering a unique way to experience the total solar eclipse with a special flight along the path of totality.

A Delta flight from Austin, Texas to Detroit, Michigan will fly along the path of the moon’s shadow during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, offering passengers an extended view at the longest and most visible total solar eclipse for the US in 100 years. It’ll certainly be a flight to remember!

Read more: Delta Air Lines wants to fly you through the 2024 total solar eclipse from 30,000 feet in the sky

How to photograph the 2024 total solar eclipse with a smartphone

Even if you don’t have a camera, you can still get some great shots of the upcoming total solar eclipse with your smartphone. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2024 total solar eclipse is just 52 days away!

For many of us, the eclipse will be a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we’ll want the photos to look back upon. But even if you don’t have a professional photography rig, it’s it’s possible to produce spectacular images and videos of April’s total solar eclipse across North America using a smartphone.

We’ve assembled a list of expert tips to help you get the best photos of the total solar eclipse possible using only your mobile device.

Read more: How to photograph a solar eclipse with a smartphone 2024 — 8 tips from an expert

Want all the gear but have no idea where to start?

Make sure you have all the equipment you need to view the solar eclipse safely.  (Image credit: Getty Images)

With 53 days to go until the total solar eclipse, it’s time to make sure you have everything you need! 

To help you get the most out of your solar eclipse viewing experience we’ve rounded up some of the best solar viewing equipment including solar glasses, telescopes, binoculars and filters.

Read more: Best solar viewing kits to observe the April 8 solar eclipse

Have you planned your eclipse trip yet?

The 115-mile-wide (185 kilometers) path of totality will cross three states in Mexico, 15 U.S. states and four states in southeast Canada. (Image credit: Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

With 54 days to go it’s not too late to plan your eclipse viewing trip. 

From scouting locations to staying safe, here’s how to prepare for the total solar eclipse. 

Read more: 8 top tips for planning your trip

60 days to go — are you ready?

The upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8 will be quite the spectacle. (Image credit: Daniel MacDonald / www.dmacphoto.com via Getty Images)

The countdown is on! 

With just 60 days until the total solar eclipse on April 8, now is the time to make sure you’re all kitted out with everything you need to view the eclipse safely. There are lots of ways to view the sun but one of the easiest is perhaps to just don a pair of certified eclipse glasses. 

Our solar eclipse glasses guide tells you everything you need to know about choosing a pair of eclipse glasses including where to buy them from.

Read more: Solar Eclipse Glasses: Where to buy the best, high-quality eyewear

Total solar eclipse 2024 vs 2017: How do they compare?

We take a look at how the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, will differ from the total solar eclipse that swept across the U.S. on Aug. 21, 2017. (Image credit: Ernest Wright/NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse moved from the Pacific to the Atlantic, throwing a narrow corridor through 14 U.S. states under the moon’s shadow in the first coast-to-coast totality for 99 years. On that day, the shadow moved from Oregon across the U.S. to South Carolina, from roughly northwest to southeast. 

It’s about to happen again, with the total solar eclipse on April 8 again beginning in the Pacific and ending in the Atlantic, but this time, the path appears to track from southwest to northeast. 

We take a look at how these two iconic solar eclipses compare. 

Read more: How will the 2024 total solar eclipse differ from the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Shadow bands: Possibly the most eerie phenomena that can accompany a solar eclipse

An artist’s conception of shadow bands just as the sun is reduced to a narrow sliver during a total solar eclipse. (Image credit: Courtesy of Sky and Telescope Magazine)

On Monday, April 8, as most readers certainly know by now, the shadow of the moon will sweep down from space and slide across the surface of the Earth, bringing a total solar eclipse to parts of the contiguous United States for the first time since 2017. 

The highlight of totality for many will be the opportunity to view the incredible solar corona — the twisted outer atmosphere that reveals the presence of the sun’s active magnetic field — as well as seeing stars and planets pop into view during the daytime. 

But there is another unusual phenomenon that is visible only when the sun has narrowed to just a filament of light: Shadow bands.

Read more: Shadow bands are a solar eclipse mystery (and not everyone sees them)

What you’ll see if you’re outside the path of totality

a map showing what the sun will look like across the united states during a solar eclipse on april 8, 2024

Total solar eclipse, April 8, 2024. (Image credit: Larry Koehn/ShadowAndSubstance.com)

Unlike a total eclipse of the sun, concentrating its excitement into a few fleeting minutes, a partial eclipse can be watched leisurely from wherever one happens to be.

On April 8, 2024, viewers about 2,600 miles (4,200 km) on either side of the totality path will get a partial eclipse, with the moon initially making a slight dent in the sun’s edge.

Read more: Total solar eclipse April 8, 2024 — What you’ll see if you’re outside the path of totality

One of the best US solar eclipses in 100 years!

A view of the solar corona during the total solar eclipse. (Image credit: Paul Souders/Getty Images)

The April 8 total solar eclipse will be one of the longest and most visible for the U.S. in 100 years, with a maximum duration of 4 minutes 28.2 seconds. 

During the last 100 years, from 1925 (inclusive) to 2024, the maximum duration of totality of 75 solar eclipses sampled (including annular-total/hybrid and non-central total eclipses) averaged 3 minutes 13 seconds. 

Our upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, will achieve a maximum duration of 4 minutes 28.2 seconds in north central Mexico. Among the 75 solar eclipses that we sampled, 29 belong to the “Four Minute or Greater Club” and the April 8 eclipse ranks among the top 25% in terms of duration.

Read more: Total solar eclipse April 8, 2024: The longest and most visible for the US in 100 years

Did somebody say road trip?

Make the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 something to remember by making it into a road trip. (Image credit: Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

If you’re after a unique way to experience the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, then consider a road trip. 

On that day, a path of totality 115 miles wide (185 kilometers) will stretch across parts of three Mexican states, 15 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces. 

It will be an exciting space event not to be missed but it’s also an excellent opportunity to explore. Whether you’re a stargazer, history buff, or space enthusiast, here are six road trip options to make the total solar eclipse a memorable experience. 

Read more: Road trip! See April’s total solar eclipse from one of these awesome North American routes

Don’t stress about getting to the centerline

The oblique circular shadow of the moon explains how long totality last within the path. (Image credit: Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

On average, the path of totality will be 115 miles (185 kilometers) wide as it crosses northern Mexico, parts of 15 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces, but people at the center and those at the edge will have a different viewing experience.

If you’re aiming to experience totality then stay away from the very edge of the path but there is no need to obsess over the centerline. 

The closer you get to the centerline, the less difference it makes in duration. Given that crowds will go to locations right on the centerline, it makes sense to go somewhere just shy of it.

Read more: Why you don’t need to get to the centerline for April’s total solar eclipse — and what will happen at the edge

Don’t make these common mistakes!

A view of the solar corona during a total solar eclipse is the prize for anyone who makes the right decisions on April 8, 2024. (Image credit: Tristan Savatier/Getty Images)

A total solar eclipse is a dynamic event that can be complicated to understand. For example, totality is only on the menu for those within a narrow path stretching across North America. It’s only 115 miles wide. Everyone else in North America will see an under-whelming partial solar eclipse. But it also matters where you are within the path of totality. 

Experiencing a total solar eclipse doesn’t require any scientific knowledge, but it does require some planning and decision-making. Here are some common mistakes would-be eclipse-chasers make.

Read more: 10 rookie mistakes first-time eclipse-chasers make (and how to avoid them)

Want to avoid the crowds?

Over 40 million people could experience totality on April 8, 2024. (Image credit: Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images))

Texas could see a million visitors for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, while half a million could travel to Indiana and Ohio, according to new eclipse visitation estimates from eclipse cartographer Michael Zeiler at GreatAmericanEclipse.com.

You may have heard about specific events, cities promoting themselves and beauty spots that would make ideal eclipse-observing locations. But where will people actually go on April 8? 

Read more: Where will the most crowded places be for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024?

Why not experience totality from one of these eclipse-themed locations?

There are dozens of eclipse-related place names in North America.  (Image credit: Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

Eclipse Island, Corona and Moon Island are just some of the places you can watch the total solar eclipse on April 8. 

Here we’ve rounded up eclipse-related place names located within the path of totality along with the local time and duration of totality. 

Read more: These eclipse-themed places will experience totality on April 8, 2024

The best places in the US to experience totality

The path of the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.  (Image credit: MichaelZeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

Seven years ago, the path of totality was relatively remote. This time, on April 8 2024, it will pass by some vast cities and metropolitan areas, ranging northeast from Texas through Maine. Only from within this path will it be possible to witness totality for up to 4 minutes and 26 seconds.

Here we have rounded up some of the best places in the US to experience the total solar eclipse.

Planning on watching the eclipse from Canada?

Montreal will see a short totality, its first since 1925.  (Image credit: Walter Bibikow / Getty Images)

We’ve rounded up some of the best viewing locations in Canada to watch the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. 

“It’s going to be a huge event because even though totality is only coming to the south of Canada, everybody in the country will see a partial eclipse,” Olivier Hernandez, director of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planétarium in Montreal, told Space.com. “That has not happened for over 30 years.”  

Read more: The best places in Canada to see the 2024 total solar eclipse

Here’s why the sun’s corona should look its spectacular spiky best during April’s eclipse

This image shows the solar corona during totality close to the solar minimum in 2017. (Image credit: john finney photography via Getty Images)

A dramatic view of the sun at’ solar maximum’ will await eclipse-chasers on April 8, 2024, during North America’s total solar eclipse. 

Only those within a 125-mile (200 km) wide path of totality can glimpse the sun’s corona — its hotter outer atmosphere — with their naked eyes during totality. Only during the exact moment of totality, when the moon completely obscures the sun can you look with the naked eye. At all other times, precautions need to be taken. It’s a sight to behold, whatever the level of solar activity, but the latest predictions have the sun reaching the peak of its current cycle in 2024, the corona now looks set to be at its largest and spikiest just in time for totality. With cameras much improved since the last solar maximum in 2012, unique images will be possible. 

Read more: Solar maximum: Why April’s total Solar Eclipse will bring unique views of the sun’s corona

Looking for some new kit to view the solar eclipse?

If you’re looking to purchase some new kit to view the upcoming solar eclipse, this Cyber Monday telescope deal is well worth it! 

The Cyber Monday deal from B&H Photo Video slashes the price of the Celestron NexStar 6SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope and EclipSmart Solar Filter Kit by more than $1,000. Originally $2,047.95 it is now $948.95.

A great all-rounder telescope and with the EclipSmart White-Light Solar Filter that is ISO 12312-2 compliant for safe solar viewing, it’s the perfect eclipse-viewing companion. 

Read more: Cyber Monday telescope deal: Save over $1000 on this telescope and solar filter bundle for more than 50% off

Why not experience nature’s most remarkable spectacle in a beautiful setting?

Lake Placid is planning plenty of eclipse events. (Image credit: DenisTangneyJr via Getty Images)

The path of totality — a narrow path around 115 miles (185 kilometers) wide where the moon completely obscures the sun — runs through Mexico to Canada via 15 U.S. states, and will pass through many state parks, national parks and other scenic spots that offer a perfect backdrop for this rare and stunning event. 

We’ve rounded up 10 of the best locations to enjoy the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

Read more: 10 scenic spots to watch the April 2024 total solar eclipse

The ‘Totality’ app is the perfect tool to accompany you on your eclipse viewing experience

(Image credit: Individual app images: Big Kid Science, AAS, image created in Canva by Daisy Dobrijevic)

The free “Totality” app is available for iOS and Android users in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. 

The app’s interactive map feature shows you where in the world upcoming solar eclipses will be visible and uses your phone’s GPS to tell you what those eclipses would look like from your current location. 

The “learn” section provides ample solar eclipse resources such as information on how, when and why solar eclipses occur as well as classroom activities meant to inspire the next generation of budding eclipse chasers.  

Read more: Experience April’s total solar eclipse from the palm of your hand with the ‘Totality’ app from Big Kid Science

Planning on viewing the eclipse from Mexico?

Poza Azúl in northeastern Mexico. (Image credit: Andrés Coronado / Getty Images)

Some of the best places to witness the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, are in Mexico. 

The shadow of the moon will first strike Earth about 370 miles (600 kilometers) off the west coast of Mexico at Isla Socorro before visiting three of the Islas Marías just 60 miles (100 km) from the mainland. It will then sweep across Mexico from Mazatlán, Durango, Torreón and Monclova as the path tracks northeast toward the U.S. border at Piedras Negras.  

Read more: The best places in Mexico to see the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024

Where will you be celebrating the total solar eclipse?

Saluki stadium at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, hosted a massive crowd of eclipse watchers.  (Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

If you want some inspiration on where to head for the ultimate total solar eclipse viewing experience we’ve rounded up some of the best parties, festivals and eclipse events across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 

The all-important path of totality will pass through northwest Mexico, 15 U.S. states (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine) and five Canadian provinces (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland). 

Read more: April 2024 total solar eclipse viewing events: Parties, festivals and more

Where is the best place to see the April 2024 total solar eclipse?

Locals and travelers from around the world gather on Menan Butte to watch the eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017 in Menan, Idaho.  (Image credit: Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

Total solar eclipses are rare opportunities that are not to be missed. After next year’s total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, the next total solar eclipse that will be visible from North America will be in 2044. 

Being in the right place at the right time is crucial for seeing one of these celestial spectacles. Want to know where you should be to catch the “Great American Eclipse?” Read our guide below for a list of the best places to see the April 2024 total solar eclipse.

Read more: Where is the best place to see the April 2024 total solar eclipse?

Will El Niño affect the chances of clear skies?

(Image credit: Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

Where will the best weather be for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024? That’s the burning question for eclipse chasers who are now making preparations and travel plans, but an incoming El Niño threatens to make things a little more complicated.

The incoming disruptive global climate pattern underscores the path of totality through Mexico and Texas as the best places to be for the lowest chance of cloud cover.

Read more: How El Niño may affect the chances of clear skies for the 2024 total solar eclipse

Where will the total eclipse be visible from? 

During totality the moon completely covers the sun’s disk. (Image credit: Dennis di Cicco / Sky & Telescope.)

Location is key to a successful total solar eclipse viewing experience.

All of North America will see a partial solar eclipse, but only those within the path of totality will get to encounter a total solar eclipse.

The all-important path of totality heads from northwest Mexico through the U.S. to southeastern Canada. That path will be 115 miles (183 kilometers) wide, on average, and only within it will it be possible to experience darkness in the day and glimpse the sun’s corona for up to 4 minutes 28 seconds. 

Read more: Where will the April 2024 total solar eclipse be visible from?

Here’s how scientists will study the sun during the total eclipse

The total solar eclipse that will sweep across the Americas on April 8 will provide scientists with a rather unique view of the sun and the perfect opportunity to study it in more detail. 

“Scientists have long used solar eclipses to make scientific discoveries,” Kelly Korreck, program scientist at NASA Headquarters, said in the statement. “They have helped us make the first detection of helium, have given us evidence for the theory of general relativity, and allowed us to better understand the sun’s influence on Earth’s upper atmosphere.” 

Learn more about the five science experiments selected by NASA to study the Great North American Eclipse of 2024. 

Remember ‘99% totality’ does not exist!

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will be visible across the Americas. (Image credit: Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

There’s a reason why the path of totality is called what it is. Mistakes will be made by many would-be eclipse-chasers on April 8, 2024. 

Inside the 115-mile wide path of totality — which will stretch across North America that day — some will forget to take off their eclipse glasses (during “totality”), missing a once-on-a-lifetime view of the solar corona. 

Others will lose track of time and be queuing for the bathroom as the moon totally eclipses the sun. However, the biggest celestial crime it’s possible to make when a total solar eclipse comes to town is to settle for 99%. 

Read more: ‘99% totality’ does not exist! Why you need to get to the path for April 8, 2024, total solar eclipse

Countdown to April’s total solar eclipse has begun!

Less than six months to go until the total solar eclipse. (Image credit: Paul Souders via Getty Images)

With the impressive annular solar eclipse behind us, we now take a look at the total solar eclipse that will occur on April 8, 2024.

The spectacle will be visible to millions of skywatchers across the Americas.

It’s not too early to start planning your trip and lucky for you our contributing writer and eclipse expert Jamie Carter has written a handy guide to help.

From scouting locations to staying safe, here’s how to prepare for the total solar eclipse.

Read more: Total solar eclipse April 2024: 8 top tips for planning your trip

Watching the eclipse from the home of ancient solar astronomy

(Image credit: Gill Carter)

Eclipse-chasers and archaeo-astronomers flocked to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico to see annularity from the home of the famous ‘Rock of the Sun’ petroglyph.

Space.com’s contributing writer Jamie Carter describes what it was like to view the annular solar eclipse from the home of ancient solar astronomy. 

Read more: What the ‘ring of fire’ eclipse looked like from the home of ancient solar astronomy

Wow! Satellites watched the annular solar eclipse from space

satellite view of annular solar eclipse 2023 over earth

(Image credit: CIRA/NOAA)

The eclipse, during which the moon blocked out the center of the sun, causing it to appear as a glowing ring of fire in the sky over Earth, was seen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites GOES-East and GOES-West. 

Read more and see the incredible timelapse video here: Satellites watch the annular solar eclipse 2023 sweep over the U.S. (video)

Hot off the press! Read all about what it was like chasing the solar eclipse on the Extraterrestrial Highway

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

Space.com’s editor Brett Tingley recounts his incredible eclipse-viewing adventure that took him through the state of Nevada along state route 375, the “Extraterrestrial Highway.”

“It was still cold when those skies began to lighten on the morning of the eclipse in Ely, Nevada, while wispy clouds blew above the recreational vehicles and camp chairs that began to line the route from Ely to Great Basin National Park. As the sun rose over the pine-covered mountains of the Schell Creek Range in the distance, more and more visitors arrived and set up tripods and cameras. Some of the gathered eclipse-chasers wore homemade T-shirts commemorating the event, and many had driven for days just to get a glimpse of the ‘ring of fire.'”

Read more: Fire in the sky: Chasing the annular solar eclipse 2023 on the Extraterrestrial Highway

And that’s a wrap!

(Image credit: Rajat Kumar Pal)

Wowee! Today’s annular eclipse did not disappoint.

You can view a roundup of some of the best photos from around the world here in our  “Annular solar eclipse of 2023 wows skywatchers with spectacular ‘ring of fire’ (photos, video)” article. 

Stay tuned for more annular eclipse content over the coming days including a special report from our Editor Brett Tingley about his incredible eclipse adventure. 

We hope you have enjoyed this annular solar eclipse as much as we have! 

Clear skies. 

The “ring of fire” has reached Brazil!

(Image credit: timeanddate)

The annular solar eclipse is currently traveling over Brazil where it will end at sunset. 

Here the “ring of fire” is visible over Canaã dos Carajás, Brazil. You can continue to follow the eclipse as it moves through Brazil online here courtesy of timeanddate.com.

Eclipse enters the Southern Hemisphere!

(Image credit: timeanddate)

The annular solar eclipse has now crossed the equator and is traveling across the Southern Hemisphere.

It’s traveling approximately 1,459 mph (2,351 km/h) (and getting faster!) and is visible over Brazil.

The image above shows the partial eclipse stage as we approach annularity in Canaã dos Carajás, Brazil.

Annularity has reached Neiva, Colombia

(Image credit: timeanddate)

The “ring of fire” is now in Neiva, Colombia! 

This impressive image is courtesy of timeanddate’s free livestream. The Neiva footage is by Planetario de Medellin.

You can continue to follow the eclipse as it moves through Colombia and Brazil online here courtesy of timeanddate.com.

We are approaching the “ring of fire” in Neiva, Colombia

(Image credit: timeanddate)

The moon is turning the sun into a thin crescent in Neiva, Colombia!

You can continue to follow the eclipse as it moves through Colombia and Brazil online here courtesy of timeanddate.com.

Things are wrapping up at Great Basin National Park (but the eclipse is far from over)

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

“The temperature has risen back to normal as the end of the annular solar eclipse approaches. Most of the crowds have left already.” — Brett Tingley

This image was captured by our Editor Brett Tingley using the Unistellar eQuinox 2 with Smart Solar Filter from the Great Basin National Park.

You can continue to follow the eclipse as it moves through Colombia and Brazil online here courtesy of timeanddate.com.

See the 1st ‘ring of fire’ photos and video

Annularity from the Great Basin National Park.  (Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

The first images of the moon passing between the sun and the Earth in a so-called “ring of fire” solar eclipse are coming in and the views are amazing. 

See the first photos and video here

You can follow the “ring of fire” across the U.S. and watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here.

Kerrville, Texas welcomes the “ring of fire”

(Image credit: NASA)

The “ring of fire” has now made it to Kerrville, Texas!

You can follow the “ring of fire” across the U.S. and watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here

The “ring of fire” has made it to Albuquerque, New Mexico

(Image credit: NASA)

The “ring of fire” has passed over Albuquerque, New Mexico.

You can follow the “ring of fire” across the U.S. and watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here. 

End of annularity for Great Basin National Park

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

The “ring of fire” stage has ended for those in the Great Basin National Park, it will now turn into a partial solar eclipse. You can learn about the main stages of the annular solar eclipse here. You can watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here and follow the “ring of fire” as it moves across the U.S. It hasn’t finished yet!

This image was captured by our Editor Brett Tingley using the Unistellar eQuinox 2 with Smart Solar Filter from the Great Basin National Park.

Behold! The “ring of fire” has arrived!

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

“A cheer just went up here at Great Basin National Park as we’ve reached annularity. The temperature has dropped significantly, and the light has taken on a twilight quality.” — Brett Tingley

This image was captured by our Editor Brett Tingley using the Unistellar eQuinox 2 with Smart Solar Filter from the Great Basin National Park.

You can watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here.

Moon turns sun into crescent

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

“The light is beginning to change as more and more of the sun is blocked by the moon. The temperature has dropped slightly.” — Brett Tingley

This image was captured by our Editor Brett Tingley using the Unistellar eQuinox 2 with Smart Solar Filter from the Great Basin National Park.

You can watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here.

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

Hungry moon takes a big “bite”

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

The moon is taking a huge “bite” out of the sun as the annular solar eclipse edges closer to the “ring of fire” phase.

This image was captured by our Editor Brett Tingley using the Unistellar eQuinox 2 with Smart Solar Filter from the Great Basin National Park.

You can watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here.

More than half of the sun is eclipsed!

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

More than half of the sun is now eclipsed by the moon! The famous “ring of fire” will be the next significant phase. 

This image was captured by our Editor Brett Tingley using the Unistellar eQuinox 2 with Smart Solar Filter from the Great Basin National Park.


You can 
watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here.

First of three eclipse-studying rockets has been launched

(Image credit: NASA)

The first of three sounding rockets to study the eclipse has been launched! 

Launching from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the rockets will specifically target the ionosphere. During the eclipse, temperature and density will drop in the ionosphere, creating a wave-like effect that can affect satellite communications, including GPS.

Read more: NASA will launch rockets into the annular solar eclipse’s shadow on Oct. 14

Partial eclipse stage is well underway

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

The partial eclipse stage of the eclipse is well underway as the moon appears to take a large “bite” out of the sun.

This image was captured by our Editor Brett Tingley using the Unistellar eQuinox 2 with Smart Solar Filter from the Great Basin National Park.

You can watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here.

Livestream is underway with stunning views

(Image credit: NASA)

You can watch the livestream of the annular eclipse courtesy of NASA here. Impressive views of the eclipse are already coming in alongside an interesting conversation about scientific research balloons!

Relief! (for now)

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

“As the clouds begin to part, the crowds here at Great Basin National Park let out audible sighs of relief as the sun and the moon emerged back into view some 30 minutes after the eclipse began.” — Brett Tingley

Clouds could be problematic for some

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

“Clouds are moving in here at Great Basin National Park, obscuring the view of the beginning stages of the annular solar eclipse. There’s still an hour to go before annularity, though, and crowds here are hopeful that they will clear out in time. Eclipse chasers have gathered here from all over the United States, some with homemade t-shirts commemorating the event and the long road trips it took to get to remote Baker, Nevada.” — Brett Tingley, Editor, Space.com.

Our eclipse livestream has begun!

(Image credit: Chayanan Phomsukwisit / EyeEm via Getty Images)

Our annular solar eclipse livestream courtesy of NASA has begun! Watch the eclipse live here.

Here it comes!

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

“Some clouds are passing by but we’re seeing the first edge of the moon pass over the sun” — Brett Tingley

Look at the top portion of the image and you can just start to see the moon!

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

Brett is using the Unistellar eQuinox 2 with Smart Solar Filter to capture the impressive views of the eclipse from The Great Basin National Park.

Space.com’s Editor Brett Tingley is ready and waiting!

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

“The sun is just rising over the mountains on a crisp, cold morning at the foot of Great Basin National Park as we’re just an hour away from the beginning stages of today’s annular solar eclipse.” — Brett Tingley

Space.com’s editor Brett Tingley is waiting for the eclipse to begin and has already captured an awesome image of the sun, just look at the size of those sunspots!

(Image credit: Future/Brett Tingley)

‘Ring of Fire’ Eclipse day is here!

(Image credit: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

Good morning, Space Fans, and today’s the day: It’s annular solar eclipse day for parts of the U.S., Central America and South America. 

A “ring of fire” solar eclipse will occur today and you’ll be able to watch it online, if you were unable to get to a location within the path of annularity, in which the moon will cover most, but not all, of the sun, leaving a brilliant ring around its edges known as a “ring of fire.”

The eclipse will begin its partial phase at 11:03 a.m. EDT (1603 GMT) and begin its ring of fire phase for the first time at 12:13 p.m. EDT (1713 GMT) as it passes over parts of Oregon. It will then cross seven other U.S. states, moving from Oregon to Texas before crossing the Gulf of Mexico to reach Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Brazil, making the famous “ring of fire” visible to millions of people. 

You can watch it here live, starting at 11:30 a.m. EDT (1630 GMT).

You can see the entire path of annularity including start and end times for different stages of the  eclipse at each location in this interactive map created by French eclipse expert Xavier Jubier. NASA has also created a helpful interactive map for tracking the eclipse across the U.S. down to the last second and seeing what it will look like from select destinations along the route.

You can also use the SkySafari app to track the eclipse from your location. If you are not in the path of annularity, you will be able to see a partial solar eclipse. But of course, it all depends on your local weather. Our skywatching columnist Joe Rao has a full weather solar eclipse forecast for the United States here.

Space.com Editor Brett Tingley is in Nevada to observe the eclipse and will attempt to send updates here as it happens if his connection allows.

We’ll also be posting updates of the eclipse’s progress here throughout the day. — Tariq Malik

Annular eclipse weather forecast

The moon obscures most of the sun during an annular, or “ring of fire,” eclipse. (Image credit: NASA/Bill Dunford)

Space.com’s skywatching columnist and veteran meteorologist Joe Rao takes a look at the weather forecast for the annular solar eclipse. 

Skywatchers across the U.S. who are looking forward to viewing Saturday’s solar eclipse may run into a problem thanks to several unsettled weather systems that will predominate over the east-central part of the country, as well as along the Pacific coast.

Read more: ‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse on Oct. 14: Will the weather cooperate?

Here’s how the eclipse will play out

Digital composite view of annular solar eclipse on May 20, 2012. Seven separate exposures were made twenty minutes apart and combined into one image. (Image credit: Paul Souders via Getty Images)

On Saturday (Oct. 14), an annular solar eclipse will sweep across the Americas. Here we explain the five main stages of the eclipse and what you can expect to see.

An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is far from the Earth, and therefore, the sun will not be completely obscured, leaving a fiery golden ring shining around the dark lunar disk. This will happen gradually, with the annular eclipse bookmarked by partial solar eclipse phases.

Looking for an app to help track the eclipse?

The popular astronomy app will help you stay up-to-the-second with this week’s ‘ring of fire.’ (Image credit: Sky Safari)

Popular astronomy app SkySafari has added a special set of features for tracking and viewing this week’s annular solar eclipse. The new eclipse features are available for SkySafari 7 Pro users (subscriptions start at $17.99), although anyone interested in trying it out can download a free trial.

NASA has released its own Eclipse Explorer 2023, an interactive map that lays out when and where the eclipse will be visible, including the path of annularity (the areas that will see the “ring of fire”).

And nonprofit organization Astronomers Without Borders is offering the “One Eclipse” app, designed to give users worldwide a front-row seat to the annular solar eclipse right in the palms of their hands.

Did you know that there will be two eclipses this month?

Annular solar eclipse (left) and a partial lunar eclipse (right). (Image credit: Paul Souders (left) Biswarup Ganguly/ Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images (right))

Earth will experience two eclipses this month, an annular solar eclipse on Oct. 14 and a partial lunar eclipse on Oct. 28. 

While the annular solar eclipse will be visible to observers across the Americas, the lunar eclipse will be visible across much of the Eastern Hemisphere, including Europe, Africa and Asia. 

Read more: Earth will experience 2 eclipses this month. Here’s what you need to know

3 days to go until the eclipse! But how fast will it travel?

A ‘ring of fire’ annular solar eclipse will speed across the Americas on Oct. 14, 2023.  (Image credit: Eclipse graphic created using Canva by Daisy Dobrijevic.)

Did you know that on Oct. 14 when the annular solar eclipse sweeps across the Americas the speed of the moon’s shadow varies from more than 550,000 mph (more than twice as fast as a bolt of lighting) to as slow as 1,250 mph (about the same as a jet fighter). 

In the U.S., when the moon’s shadow strikes the Oregon coast at 9:13 a.m. PDT its speed will have already slowed down significantly to 5,683 mph. As it leaves the coast of Texas just 50 minutes later at 12:03 p.m. CDT it will have slowed down to 1,772 mph.

Why? It all depends on where on Earth the eclipse is happening, the distance to the moon and the moon’s orbital speed.

We take a more in-depth look at how fast the annular solar eclipse will travel including where it will move the fastest and the slowest.

Explore the annular eclipse with this awesome interactive map

Moving the time slider in the user interface advances or reverses the eclipse through time on the day of the eclipse. (Image credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)

If you can’t get enough of eclipse content as we countdown to the annular solar eclipse on Oct. 14 then this interactive eclipse map is for you! 

NASA’s Eclipse Explorer’s interactive map details when and where the eclipse can be seen, including the path and duration of annularity (the areas from which the ‘ring of fire’ can be seen), allowing you to track the eclipse down to the second!  

You can even toggle between cities and use the slider bar at the bottom to move through different stages of the eclipse. So what are you waiting for? Explore the annular solar eclipse today!

Less than one week to go until the sun is turned into a spectacular ‘ring of fire’

During an annular solar eclipse the sun appears to turn into a glorious “ring of fire.” (Image credit: Chayanan via Getty Images)

The countdown to the annular solar eclipse 2023 is well underway! 

As we get ready for the impressive “ring of fire” spectacle we summarize where the eclipse is visible and why scientists are so excited! 

REMEMBER to NEVER look at the sun directly. To safely view this solar eclipse you must use solar filters at all times. Whether your location will experience a partial solar eclipse or an annular solar eclipse, the dangers are the same. Observers will need to wear solar eclipse glasses, and cameras, telescopes and binoculars must have solar filters placed in front of their lenses at all times. 

Our how to observe the sun safely guide tells you everything you need to know about safe solar observations. 

Future solar eclipses will all be rings of fire

(Image credit: Alexander Krivenyshev)

In the far future, total solar eclipses will be a thing of the past and there’s physics behind it. 

As we prepare for the upcoming Oct. 14 annular solar eclipse, our skywatching columnist Joe Rao takes a look into the future, when the moon’s distance in relation to the Earth will be such that it will no longer totally cover the sun’s disk as seen from the Earth’s surface. 

Here’s why all solar eclipses will be rings in the future, and let us know how ready or excited you are for the Oct. 14 solar eclipse!

Ring of fire solar eclipse of 2023 is one week away!

The path of annularity crossing the U.S. on October 14, 2023. (Image credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio)

The stage is set for one of the greatest sun events of 2023, if not the greatest skywatching event of the year! 

We are officially one week away from the annular solar eclipse of Oct. 14 and is one that could potentially be visible to millions of people across the United States. While not a total solar eclipse, the annular eclipse will offer a “ring of fire” effect for observers in the path of maximum coverage, as the moon will not completely cover the sun during the event. Instead, it will leave a small ring of the sun visible, also called an annulus, hence its name.

Ultimate guide to October’s ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse

The path of annularity will cross parts of Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas before moving on to Central and South America. If you are not in the path of annularity, you’ll be able to see partial solar eclipse, BUT BE SURE TO USE PROTECTIVE SOLAR ECLIPSE GLASSES to protect your eyes and vision.

Here’s a look at some of Space.com’s resources for the solar eclipse to help you prepare for the event. We’ll have daily stories leading up to the event.

How fast will the Oct. 14 annular solar eclipse travel?

How long with the Oct. 14 solar eclipse last?

10 events, viewing parties and festivals for October’s ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse

10 beauty spots to see October’s ‘ring of fire annular solar eclipse

Total vs. annular: Why solar eclipses produce totality or a ‘ring of fire’

7 places to see rare ‘edge effects’ during October’s ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse

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