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Experience the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

Upper Arlington in the Path of Partial Totality

On April 8, 2024, a rare celestial event will captivate the skies over North America, treating spectators in Mexico, the United States, and Canada to a total solar eclipse. Among the lucky viewers will be those within a 124-mile-wide band in Ohio, where the moon will completely block the sun, turning day into an eerie twilight.

Outside this path, Ohioans will still witness a partial eclipse, a stunning display as the moon partially covers the sun. Total solar eclipses are extraordinary, occurring on average once every 1.5 years somewhere on Earth. In the history of the United States, only 21 total solar eclipses have graced the lower 48 states.

For Ohio, the last total solar eclipse visible was in 1806, making the 2024 event a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. The next total solar eclipse in Ohio is not expected until the year 2099.

Understanding the science behind a solar eclipse adds to the spectacle. This phenomenon occurs when the moon positions itself between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow on our planet. During a total solar eclipse, the moon perfectly aligns with the sun, completely blocking its light and revealing the sun’s corona, creating a breathtaking sight.

While witnessing such an event is exciting, safety is paramount. Looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause permanent eye damage. To safely view the eclipse, use special-purpose solar filters like eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers. Familiarize yourself with solar eclipse safety tips to ensure a memorable and safe experience.

**Information in this article can be attributed to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and

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A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, casting its shadow on the Earth’s surface. This alignment results in different types of eclipses:

  • Total Eclipse: When the Moon perfectly aligns with the Sun, fully blocking its light, creating a phenomenon known as “totality.”
  • Partial Eclipse: When the alignment is not perfect, and only a portion of the Sun is obscured by the Moon.
  • Annular Eclipse: When the alignment is perfect, but the Moon is at a further point in its orbit, appearing smaller and not completely covering the Sun, creating a ring-like effect known as the “ring of fire.”

The rarity of a total solar eclipse lies in the fact that it is visible only along a very narrow path on Earth for a few minutes, making it one of nature’s most extraordinary and fleeting events.

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Many who have witnessed a total eclipse describe it as the most breathtaking natural phenomenon they’ve ever seen. It begins with the Moon slowly passing in front of the Sun, gradually obscuring its bright light. As the eclipse progresses, the surroundings take on a surreal hue, and shadows become sharper and more pronounced. As the Moon covers more of the Sun, only a thin crescent of light remains, casting an unusual dimness as daylight starts to fade. During this phase, you might notice rippling “shadow bands” on the ground. Then, comes “totality” – the Moon aligns perfectly with the Sun, revealing the solar corona, a delicate halo surrounding the dark silhouette of the Moon. The moment of totality is magical, with a sudden drop in temperature and birds returning to their nests, tricked by the premature darkness. It’s an experience of standing in an eerie twilight, enveloped by a glowing “sunset” on all horizons. As totality ends, the sequence reverses: daylight gradually returns, the crescent of the Sun reappears, and the world resumes its normal rhythm.

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The path of totality is where observers will see the Moon completely cover the Sun.

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The total solar eclipse visits Ohio on April 8, 2024 beginning at 3:08 pm EDT with the final exit of the Moon’s shadow from the state at 3:19 pm EDT.

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During the eclipse, the sky will get dark as if it were dawn or dusk. Even if skies are cloudy, people will still notice a darkening of the sky. Nocturnal wildlife may awaken while non-nocturnal wildlife may think it’s time for bed.

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There may be times during the event that cell service will be disrupted due to high volume of usage. Texting uses less bandwidth than a voice call.

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OhioTourism has interactive maps showing locations and events for viewing the eclipse.

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With the exception of the very brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun unless you are using eye protection specifically for solar viewing. Do not view any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the secured over the front of the instrument as this may instantly cause severe eye injury. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. They transmit thousands of times too much sunlight and could damage the eyes. Visit the American Astrological Society website for a list of recommended vendors to purchase solar eclipse viewers.

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Yes, but you must have the specialized eclipse filter between your camera and the Sun.

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