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April 8: Total Solar Eclipse

“If you haven’t seen a total solar eclipse, you haven’t seen anything.” So ends NASA’s new trailer for what is arguably the celestial highlight not only of 2024 but of the entire decade - and possibly many Americans’ lifetimes.

The path of totality in the USA on Monday, April 8, 2024
The path of totality on Monday, April 8, 2024 | NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Americans are now only a few weeks away for the chance of a lifetime - as the next total solar eclipse is not going to return to North America until 2033 (in Alaska) and 2044 (in Montana and the Dakotas).

Announcing its plans to broadcast April’s total solar eclipse from locations across the U.S., the space agency’s short trailer on YouTube is high on drama and feels more like an action movie trailer than the preview of a forthcoming celestial event.

On Monday, April 8, a path of totality - the moon’s shadow - will travel north east from Mexico’s Pacific coast to Newfoundland in Canada, across 15 U.S. states. While only those inside a 115 mile wide path will see the eclipse and experience totality - darkness in the day and falling temperatures - everyone else in North America will see a partial solar eclipse of varying degrees.

The short video on NASA’s YouTube channel proclaims: “When you experience an eclipse, you feel a connection to space." Another voice says: "The universe is out there, and it’s affecting us - we are in space."

Both quotes relate to the sudden feeling of syzygy - the alignment of the sun, the moon, and you.

NASA will provide live broadcast coverage on April 8 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT (1700 to 2000 UTC) on NASA TV and on YouTube.


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