Upcoming Solar Eclipse – April 2024

Solar Eclipse October 2023
A photo of the Solar Eclipse on October 2023

On October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse crossed Central, North, and South America. I was in Central Florida for this, and managed to capture about an hour of the eclipse (watch the replay here)! During an annular total eclipse, the sun appears as a “ring of fire”. This is because the Moon is further away from Earth, making it appear smaller in the sky compared to the Sun. Unfortunately, Florida wasn’t in the path of totality, but we did get roughly 55% coverage of the sun (image to the left).

With the eclipse on April 8th, the moon will appear to be the same size as the sun. This will cause a total eclipse for those along the path of totality. For a moment the only thing visible will be the solar flares and filaments coming up from the surface of the sun!

This eclipse also has a unique opportunity as the comet P12/Pons-Brooks may be visible in the path of totality! It should be near Jupiter, between Jupiter and the sun.

For me, the Eclipse will start around 13:40(1:40 PM) Eastern, and will end a little after 16:00(4:00 PM). The maximum point of the eclipse for me will be just under 60% at around 15:00(3:00 PM) EDT. Weather permitting I’ll start my stream at 13:00(1:00 PM) EDT. Below is the scheduled live stream, so you can go there, bookmark it, or click the notify button on the video.

I may also see if I can get a PIP (Picture-in-Picture) setup using a NASA stream. Either way, it should be an exciting time. I recommend getting outside and checking it out for yourself. If you do though, make sure you’re using the proper equipment. Sunglasses aren’t enough to protect your vision while looking at the sun, especially during the eclipse. During an eclipse, the visible light emitted is less, which causes the iris in the eye to open up, exposing the retina to more damaging light rays, UV light, that we can’t see. You can get solar glasses, but check that they meet ISO 12312-2 international standards to be sure they are safe. Better yet, NASA has some great examples of different methods you can use to observe the eclipse without looking at it directly. https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/project/how-to-make-a-pinhole-camera/

I hope you get the chance to see the eclipse in person and I’ll see you on the stream! Clear skies to all!