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The Last Full Solar Eclipse for a While in North America

 

Listen up, Science Geeks! On April 8th, 2024, there will be a full solar Solar Eclipse and it will be visible on a narrow strip from Mexico, The United States, and Canada. Unlike last year, people in the field of view will experience totality!

It’s always a special occasion when a total solar eclipse occurs, as they only happen once every 18 months or so and are often only visible over oceans or remote areas. The upcoming total solar eclipse in 2024 will be particularly exciting for North America, as it will take place during a time when the sun is at the peak of its activity cycle. This is a notable contrast to the last major American eclipse in 2017, which occurred during a period of low solar activity. The table below provides the time that totality begins in U.S. cities in the path of totality. These areas will also experience a partial eclipse before and after these times.

What is a Solar Eclipse?

 

Solar Eclipses are a very rare phenomenon where the Moon is in its “New Moon phase” and is directly in between the Sun and the Earth.  The moon’s shadow is split into two parts, the Umbra, the darkest part, and the center of the shadow, and the Penumbra, the lighter part. The trail of totality shows the places where the Umbra is soaring over.  

 

There are three kinds of solar eclipses: a Partial eclipse, an Annular eclipse, and a Total eclipse, the kind we will be experiencing this spring.

Partial eclipses happen about twice a year, making them the most common. The moon covers part of the sun and only the shadow of the penumbra lands on the Earth. Annular eclipses occur when the moon goes in front of the sun, but it is at its farthest point from Earth, so a “ring of fire” peeks out and encircles the moon. Total eclipses are special eclipses that completely cover the sun, leaving only the corona -the very outermost rays of the sun- visible. 

 

When viewing the solar eclipse you have to remember your safety. Please don’t look directly at the sun when viewing the eclipse. Bring the necessary eclipse eyewear or telescopes/eyepieces, we don’t want anyone getting hurt during this stellar event.

 

Why is this Solar Eclipse in Particular Special?

 

On April 8th, 2024, North America will witness the last total solar eclipse visible from the  United States until 2044 – that’s 20 years from now! So mark your calendars, grab your eclipse glasses, and get ready to witness a celestial spectacle that won’t be seen again for decades. The moon orbits around the Earth, and the Earth orbits around the sun. Although the moon and Earth are constantly moving, their orbits are not perfectly aligned with each other. The moon’s orbit is inclined at an angle of 5.14 degrees relative to the Earth’s orbit around the sun. This tilt means that the moon frequently passes either above or below the Earth. When the moon is above or below the Earth, it does not pass in between the sun and the Earth. As a result, the moon does not create a solar eclipse. 

However, if the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth, it causes a total solar eclipse. If the moon only partially passes before the sun, it creates a partial solar eclipse. The angles and tilts of the Earth and Moon are aligning perfectly to create a breathtaking moment that you won’t want to miss! 

 

I hope you mark this extraordinary event on your calendars! If you’re interested in learning more about the eclipse, see the sources below:

 

Sources:

What is an Eclipse?

2024 Total Solar Eclipse

The Three Types of Solar Eclipses

The 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Information

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Hola, persona! My name is Fernanda, and I'm in the 8th grade. My friends often like to call me "Fredrick" or "Fred". I love to draw, digitally and traditionally, and my favorite thing to draw is cartoons! Speaking of cartoons, I also love watching them, one of my favorites would be TAWOG (The Amazing World of Gumball) and LMK (Lego Monkie Kid),  but besides cartoons, I also love anime! My favorites are TBHK (Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun) MHA (My Hero Academia) and AOT (Attack On Titan). I have an amazing family, consisting of three brothers, one mom, one dad, and an amazing 3-year-old tuxedo cat named Benny. I am looking forward to a wonderful year I
Olivia Huffmire, Writer
Hi!!!!!!!!! I'm Olivia Huffmire and I'm one of the AMAZING writers at TMS Press. I'm in 8th grade this year and finally a part of the TMS Symphonic Band! Besides writing, I like drawing, hiking, singing, swimming, and making music. I also really like to bake treats like cookies and brownies. I have three younger brothers, 1 in elementary, 1 in sixth grade, one that's four, and a two-year-old sister. Sunflowers are one of my favorite things, besides family, friends, books, and chocolate. I have had such a fun time in TMS Press, with more great times to come. Enjoy!

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