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  • Writer's pictureAmy Trudell

Amy's Angle>

Updated: Apr 8

Let's Chat About...Solar Eclipse

On Monday April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse will take place and it is being referred to as the "Great North American Eclipse". During this event the moon will pass completely in front of the sun creating a period of total darkness. This is known as a "total solar eclipse".

It is a rare phenomenon which will be visible in certain states throughout the country. These include Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Vermont. It will begin in Mexico and end in Canada. In Texas the eclipse will occur around 1:30 pm CDT and in Maine around 3:30 pm EDT. It will last for about 4 1/2 minutes making it one of the longest total solar eclipses of the 21st century.

Looking directly into the sun during an eclipse can cause permanent eye damage. Special eclipse glasses or solar filters can be used to view the event. These range anywhere from $2.50 to $15.00 and are available to purchase in many locations. This will be the 1st total solar eclipse to be visible in the United States since August 21, 2017, and there will not be another one of its kind until August 23,2044.

Experts say the best chance for a good viewing will be in the Southern end of the path because of their typically sunny weather. You want to be in a clear area free from clouds. Major cities have also prepared and set aside good locations for people to come and observe. "It will likely be the most-viewed astronomical event in American history," eclipse chaser Michael Zeiler said. He is the administrator for the "Great American Eclipse" website.

We have family that live in Texas near Austin, and I interviewed our Grandson Jabbar to get his take on the Solar Eclipse. He is 10 years old and a 5th grader at Oak Hill Elementary School. Here is what he had to say:

What do you know about the Eclipse that is happening next Monday?

  • "We are in the line of eclipse totality, which means when the moon passes in front of the sun there will be total darkness."

Will you watch it and where will you be?

  • "Well, it's during school time so we will go outside during school. We will have a good view of it but the best place to be to see it would be Dallas."

Will you where eye protection when viewing?

  • "Yes, it is very important to where eclipse glasses to watch it. You can take them off during totality, but you have to be ready to put them on very quickly because if you look directly into the sun, it could damage the soft tissue of your eyes. There will be a "diamond ring" around the sun just before and just after the total eclipse which could be dangerous to look at without the glasses."

Does your school provide the glasses, or do you have to bring them from home?

  • "The school gives them to us, but you can pretty much go buy them anywhere."

Are you excited for it?

  • "Oh yes, this is a very rare occurrence. It's the 1st time in 600 years to have totality during an eclipse in Texas."

And you can't have an eclipse day without listening to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler!

So, there you have it! If you have the privilege of witnessing this historic event, please enjoy and share your experience in the comments below!

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