March 22, 2024
The Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2024: How to Safely Enjoy this Celestial Spectacle
By Danielle Manley

On April 8, 2024, a rare and awe-inspiring event will grace the skies of North America: a total solar eclipse. This celestial phenomenon occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, obscuring the sun’s light and casting a shadow on Earth. While solar eclipses are breathtaking to witness, it’s crucial to protect your eyes to avoid permanent damage. Here’s what you need to know to safely enjoy the solar eclipse of April 8, 2024.

Understanding the Eclipse

A total solar eclipse is a breathtaking event where the moon completely covers the sun, revealing the sun’s outer atmosphere, known as the corona. This creates a stunning visual display, with the sky darkening and stars becoming visible. The path of totality, where the sun is completely blocked by the moon, will stretch from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeastern United States, offering millions of people the chance to witness this remarkable event.

Protecting Your Eyes

It’s important to never look directly at the sun, even during a solar eclipse. The sun’s intense rays can cause serious eye damage, including permanent blindness. To safely view the eclipse, you’ll need special eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the sun.

How to Use Eclipse Glasses

When using eclipse glasses, follow these safety tips:

  1. Inspect your glasses for any damage, such as scratches or holes. If they are damaged, do not use them.
  2. Put on your eclipse glasses before looking at the sun.
  3. Stand still and cover your eyes with the glasses. Do not remove them while looking at the sun.
  4. Do not use glasses that are older than three years or that have been exposed to harsh conditions, as they may not offer adequate protection.

Alternative Viewing Methods

If you don’t have access to eclipse glasses, you can use a pinhole projector to indirectly view the eclipse. This simple device projects an image of the sun onto a surface, such as a piece of paper or cardboard. Instructions for making a pinhole projector can be found online.

Eclipse Timeline – Ohio

  • 1:55:36 PM – Partial Eclipse Begins: Moment the moon touches the edge of the sun – known as “First Contact”
  • 1:57 PM – Moon Bites Sun: Eclipse starts to become visible to the eye using eclipse glasses
  • 2:18 PM – Obscuration around 20%
  • 2:25 PM – Temperature Changes
  • 2:33 PM – Sharp & Blurry Shadow: Shadow edges aligned with the sun’s narrowing crescent become sharper
  • 2:40 PM – Sky starts becoming darker
  • 2:48 PM – Temperature, Humidity, and Wind continue to change
  • 2:55 PM – Surroundings start to darken and colors start to turn grayish
  • 3:03 PM – Nature reacts to falling levels of light
  • 3:12 PM – Moment of totality
  • 3:21 PM – Nature begins returning to normal
  • 3:36 PM – Light levels and temperatures begin to return to normal
  • 4:05 PM – Obscuration around 20%
  • 4:27 PM – Eclipse ends

The solar eclipse of April 8, 2024, promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for many people. By taking the necessary precautions and using proper eye protection, you can safely enjoy this spectacular display of nature’s beauty. Remember, the sun’s rays are powerful, so always use caution and follow safety guidelines to protect your eyes during the eclipse.