A spectacular total solar eclipse is coming.
On April 8, 2024, the Moon’s shadow will land on Earth’s surface.
With totality lasting up to ~4½ minutes, the sights will be spectacular.
The Sun’s corona, background stars, satellites, and several planets will be visible.
There are five keys to witnessing it.
1.) Maximize your totality time.
Locations farther southwest and closer to the eclipse’s center-line provide the best visual shows.
2.) Prepare for severe temperature drops.
Eclipses greatly reduce the Sun heat.
In 2017, air temperatures dropped by ~20 °F (12 °C) during totality; expect similar drops in 2024.
3.) Wear sufficient eye protection.
Only totality itself is safe for your naked eyes.
For everything else, eclipse glasses (or shade 14+ welder’s glass) is required.
4.) Bring a “pinhole” camera.
During the partial phases, a solar projection shows totality’s approach.
5.) Scout for likely cloud-free locations.
My top locations are:
Mazatlán, Durango, Torreón, and Piedras Negras, Mexico.
Fredericksburg, Gatesville, and Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Russellville, Mount Nebo and Cherokee Village, Arkansas.
Benton, Marion, and Lawrenceville, Illinois.
Vincennes, Bloomington, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Buffalo, Rochester, and Niagara Falls, New York.
Even with cloud cover, totality is worth the experience.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals, and no more than 200 words. Talk less; smile more.
(Update: plus a bonus cloud-cover map, courtesy of climatologist Brian Brettschneider!)