16 Fun Facts About the 2024 Solar Eclipse

Do you want to experience that chilling scene in movies where the sky darkens? That’s about to happen soon.  Mark your calendar for a total…

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Do you want to experience that chilling scene in movies where the sky darkens? That’s about to happen soon. 

Mark your calendar for a total solar eclipse this April and look forward to this incredible event. Before watching this astro-wonder, here are some basic facts you need to know about the solar eclipse in 2024. 

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1. Eclipses Occur Every Saros Cycle

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Lunar and solar eclipses happen periodically over time. The duration between each eclipse is known as a Saros cycle, which lasts for 18 years, 11 days, and 8 hours, or 6,585.3 days. The Saros cycle is determined by the distance between the Earth and the moon.

2. The First Total Solar Eclipse in 7 Years

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The eclipse on April 8, 2024, marks the first total solar eclipse in seven years. The last two total solar eclipses happened on February 26, 1979, and more recently on August 21, 2017. The next one is expected to happen on August 23, 2044.

3. Eclipse Is Connected With the New Moon

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A solar eclipse is only possible on a new moon, but it doesn’t happen on every new moon. The moon must be between the Earth and the Sun to produce a solar eclipse. The heavenly bodies are in the same chronological position during the New Moon. 

4. The Continental US Will See a Partial Eclipse

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Everyone in America will get to see a partial eclipse at the very least. If the skies are clear, you will easily see how the moon covers 16% of the sun. 

5. Texas Will See the Eclipse First

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Texas will be the first in the continental U.S. to see the solar eclipse. The totality will be visible in Las Quintas Fronterizas at 1:27:21 p.m. (CDT). Marvel at this stunning phenomenon for around 4 minutes and 28 seconds. 

6. Be on the Eclipse’s Center Line

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The duration of the eclipse runs the longest at the centerline, which pertains to the diameter of the moon’s shadow. To maximize the experience, watching from the centerline will give you the best and longest view. 

Ohio and Indiana are the lucky states to enjoy the solar eclipse’s totality. Illinois also joins in, with much of its southern state along the center line. 

7. The Eclipse’s Center Line Runs Through 15 States

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The centerline of this solar eclipse will run through 15 states in the U.S. At 1:45:39 p.m. (CDT), the totality will first become visible in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Missouri and a tiny part of western Kentucky will follow. Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont will be the last ones to see the totality. 

8. Totality Matters

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The totality refers to the total solar eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun’s surface. While seeing a partial part of the solar eclipse is okay, the totality offers an entirely different look and vibe. The phenomenon creates a stunning view of the sun’s crown appearing like a ring in the sky.

It only lasts 4 minutes and 28 seconds at most, so it’s important to pay close attention to it. Also, try to notice the animals around you, since they also react to this event. 

9. Totality Is Not Safe to Look At

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Despite what many people think, it’s not safe to look at the solar eclipse, even when the solar eclipse realises its totality. That’s why it is advised to use eclipse glasses during the entire eclipse time.

10. Totalities Vary in Lengths

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Totalities can last longer in some places than others, depending on the location. The ones in the centerline can enjoy a longer view of the totality. Texas can enjoy the view in almost 4 minutes, but Canada can only do so for around 3 minutes.

11. The Duration of The Eclipse’s Totality Is Short

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The totality of the 2024 solar eclipse will be shorter than that of other solar eclipses. In history, the longest totality of a solar eclipse is around 7 minutes and 32 seconds, while this 2024 phenomenon will only last 4 minutes and 28 seconds. The next long-duration solar total eclipse will occur on June 13, 2132, and last 6 minutes and 55 seconds.

12. Eclipse Ends in Maine, US

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Maine will get the final look at this 2024 solar eclipse. The totality will leave continental America at 3:35 p.m. and creep out from the state through the eastern edge of Littleton. It will last only 3 minutes and 22 seconds in Maine. 

13. The Eclipse Path Homes Tens of Millions of People

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Approximately 31.5 million people live along the totality path. It means that many people have access to viewing the stunning phenomenon. As long as the sky is clear from where you’re viewing and it’s within the path, you will enjoy this rare sight. 

14. Telescope Is Not a Requirement

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You won’t need a telescope to enjoy this year’s solar eclipse. You can enjoy the magnificent view close-up using your binoculars. You can also use eclipse glasses for a more laid-back viewing. 

15. The Eclipse May Be the Most-Viewed Ever

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The total solar eclipse scheduled for April 8, 2024, may be the most viewed ever. In addition to the massive media coverage, the centerline covers more states than other occurrences. The skies are expected to be clear on the eclipse date, and more people will have access to cities near the areas where the totality can be viewed.  

16. The Next Solar Eclipse Will Come After 2 Decades

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If you’re waiting for the next solar eclipse after 2024, you will be waiting for at least two decades. The next solar eclipse will be on August 23, 2044—a 20-year wait from now. It can only be viewed in North Dakota and Montana. The next ones will happen the next year and then 34 years after that.

10 Commonly Believed Myths Debunked by Science

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I recently saw this question online, “What is a popular belief that is scientifically proven wrong?” 

Are you thinking of something you know now? Here are the responses that received the most upvotes.

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