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What you need to know to watch Monday's total solar eclipse

Updated April 7, 2024 at 4:14 PM ET

A stunning celestial event is visible across the country Monday, when the moon crosses directly in front of the sun: a total solar eclipse. For those in the path of totality, there will be a few brief moments when the moon completely covers the sun and the world becomes dark.

Traveling for totality? Skip ahead.

This will be the last chance to catch a total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. for about 20 years, so here's what you need to know to safely enjoy!

When is the eclipse?

April 8, 2024 there will be a total solar eclipse that crosses from the Pacific coast of Mexico through the United States.

What is totality and why it matters

According to NASA, totality will start around 11:07 a.m. PDT/1:07 EDT in Mexico and leave Maine at around 1:30 pm PDT/3:30 pm EDT.

Check out this tablefor when the partial eclipse and totality are visible in each region or check by zip code here.

A partial solar eclipse will be visible across the contiguous United States, so even if you're not directly in the path, you should be able to see something special, weather permitting.

Unable to get to totality? We'll be sharing highlights herefrom across the NPR Network throughout the day Monday if you can't see it in real time.

Where to see totality?

More than 30 million people live in the path of totality for Monday's eclipse, and many more in nearby areas.

Here's what we know about Monday's weather forecast.

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Why totality matters

As NPR's Neil Greenfieldboyce explains, "During a total eclipse, the sky darkens suddenly and dramatically. The temperature drops. Stars come out. Beautiful colors appear around the horizon. And the once-familiar sun becomes a black void in the sky surrounded by the glowing corona — that's the ghostly white ring that is the sun's atmosphere."

A partial eclipse, while still a fun experience, is hardly as dramatic. Those with a view of the partial eclipse will see crescent-shaped shadows like those seen here in 2017.

How to watch safely

If you plan to look directly at the eclipse (partial or totality), you're going to need eclipse glasses handy because looking directly at the sun without proper protection (traditional sunglasses don't count!) can be harmful to your eyes.

As NPR's Joe Hernandez explains, "Proper eye protection must be worn throughout a total solar eclipse — except for the roughly 3 1/2 to 4 minutes when the moon fully obscures the sun, a brief period known as 'totality.' (You will need to take your glasses off during totality to actually see it.)"

If you don't have access to eclipse glasses, you can get craftywith things you have around the house (like some of us did back in 2017!) More on that here.

Traveling for totality?

The celestial event is driving a ton of domestic travel to the path of totality. If you're headed out of town to view the eclipse, here are some NPR Network resources for areas in the path of totality:

Texas
The path of totality crosses through the Lone Star State, with some areas expecting a possible influx of visitors in the hundreds of thousands to catch prime viewing. Our member stations across the state have gathered local resources to help you navigate the region and the eclipse!


Arkansas
The eclipse will be cutting through the state, putting Little Rock in the path of totality. Check out Little Rock Public Radio for local resources.

Kentucky

The southwestern edge of the state will be well-positioned to witness the total solar eclipse this year. Kentucky Public Radio is covering the eclipse throughout the region, fromKentuckiana eclipse mania to the University of Louisville's free class about the celestial event. Keep an eye on WKMSfor the latest local updates.

Missouri
The southeastern corner of the state will be in the path of totality, crossing across towns like Whitewater and Ste. Genevieve. Head toSt. Louis Public Radiofor local coverage and resources.

Illinois

Carbondaleseems to have won the eclipse lottery, being in the path of totality both in 2017 and for this year's eclipse. For resources from across the state, check outIllinois Public Media.

Indiana
A huge portion of the state will be within the path of totality, giving cities across Indiana, including Bloomington and Indianapolis, prime viewing of the eclipse.


Ohio
The Buckeye State is getting bisected by this year's path of totality, plunging a number of the state's most populous areas into darkness for a few minutes on Monday.

  • Cleveland: Head to Ideastream Public Mediafor the latest.
  • Columbus: With the capital city just south of totality, head to WOSU for regional resources.
  • Cincinnati: Totality will just miss the border town. Here are some tips from WVXUon how to navigate the eclipse in the region.


Pennsylvania
Only the northwestern-most corner of the state will catch totality, with views from the lakeside in Erie being particularly well-positioned for a stunning viewing experience. WESA has more from across the region.

New York
Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Plattsburgh will fall under the path of totality on Monday. If you're planning to travel to the region for the best views, here are some local resources to stay safe and informed:

  • Buffalo: Head to WBFO for the latest
  • Syracuse: WAER has more on plans in the Salt City
  • North Country: NCPR has the latest from across the region, as well as information on local viewing events to check out

Vermont
The Green Mountain State will see totality across its most populous region, including Burlington and Montpelier, as well as the Northeast Kingdom on the Canadian border. Vermont Publichas everything you need to know to navigate your time in the region to enjoy the eclipse safely.

New Hampshire

The northernmost region of the Granite State will be in the path of totality, providing prime viewing to those in Coos County. NHPR has info on local events, travel updates as well as special coverage with New Hampshire Public Television.

Maine
The last state in the path of totality in the U.S., much of Northern Maine will be positioned for prime viewing. The rural region is preparing for an influx of visitors, and safety officials are encouraging visitors and locals alike to be prepared. Maine Public will be covering the eclipse and has everything you need to know to navigate the region safely.

How to document the eclipse safely

With the ease of cell photography, it can be tempting to reach for your phone to document the eclipse and the moments of totality, but make sure to do so safely.

As NPR's Scott Neuman explains, "For starters, you'll need to wear eclipse glasses or similar protective eye gear while aiming your camera or even just observing the eclipse."

Feeling ambitious? Here are a few more tips.

Or if you're not inclined to capture the moment visually, you lean into some other forms of creative expression. Indiana, for example, has named Linda Neal Reisingthe official poetin the state for this year's eclipse.

As former NPR reporter and eclipse superfan David Baron shared with Life Kit, viewing totality "[is] like you've left the solar system and are looking back from some other world."

So consider focusing on being present in the moment to enjoy the celestial spectacle.

More resources to enjoy the eclipse


NPR will be sharing highlights herefrom across the NPR Network throughout the day Monday if you're unable to get out and see it in real time.

NPR's Emily Alfin Johnson compiled these resources.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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