Everything You Need to Know for Monday's Eclipse

For some, it's 'as close to a religious moment' as one can get
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2024 6:37 AM CDT
Break Out Your Glasses: It's Eclipse Time
A graphic of an eclipse is seen Sunday on a store's special hours sign, a day before a total solar eclipse will be visible in Kingston, Ontario.   (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

The big day is here, and we hope you have your glasses ready. A total solar eclipse—when the moon moves directly between the sun and Earth—is set for Monday afternoon, moving from Mexico through 15 US states and then up toward Canada, per Space.com. How much of the sun is covered depends where along the 115-mile path of totality you fall. More coverage:

  • Basics: NBC News offers a last-minute primer on everything eclipse, including what states it will pass through and when totality will hit in certain locations. USA Today has a ZIP code finder so you can see exactly when the best viewing times are in your neck of the woods, and how much of the sun you can expect to be blocked.
  • Glasses: People warns on the dangers of using nonapproved eclipse glasses and dispenses advice on how to tell if yours are fake. CBS News and the Democrat and Chronicle, meanwhile, offer safe alternatives, as well as unsafe ones (for example, don't stack three pairs of sunglasses on top of each other and think you'll be set).
  • Weather: The New York Post takes a peek at what sky conditions will be in various parts of the US. Meteorologist Dax Clark warns that in some parts along the path of totality, including in Texas and near the Great Lakes, cloud cover might mar the viewing experience. Indianapolis, however, looks like it will have perfect weather, and residents in the Big Apple will be in "pretty good shape" for prime viewing.

  • 'Surreal': That's how former NPR reporter and self-proclaimed eclipse chaser David Baron describes experiencing an eclipse. He talks to his onetime employer about what it physically feels like to watch such an event and why it's so addicting for him. "It's like you've left the solar system and are looking back from some other world," he says.
  • Eclipse chasers: Baron isn't the only one on a quest to witness such a spectacular celestial event. Time delves more into the folks who will travel thousands of miles to catch a glimpse, with one UK doctor noting it's "almost as close to a religious moment as I think you can get." The AP, meanwhile, takes a look at how eclipse groupies are being affected by the aforementioned fickle weather.
  • Price gouging: It's bound to happen in many totality areas, but NBC profiles one small Missouri outpost that's doing the opposite, in the hopes of drawing tourists back long after the eclipse is over.
  • One man's eclipse journey: The New York Times features a guest essay by Balarama Heller, who reveals how, as a child, he was forbidden by his faith to watch eclipses. Now, his artwork is inspired by them.
  • Conspiracies: Will the "elites" use the eclipse to try to control humanity? Wired has more, calling Monday "the Super Bowl for conspiracists."
  • Livestream: Experiencing cloud cover or couldn't scrounge up a pair of glasses in time? NASA offers free viewing starting at 1pm ET, and there are other options as well, per the AP. Can't break from work or other responsibilities to watch the eclipse in action? Mark your calendar for the next major total solar eclipse to cross the continental US from coast to coast, which takes place in 2045, per NBC.
  • Eclipse music: In case you need some watch party music, the obvious choice.
(More solar eclipse stories.)

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