Total Solar Eclipse: Where, When, and What to Watch for

Editor's note: Follow along with live updates from CNN Total solar eclipse.



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A total solar eclipse is now visible from the US as the dramatic skyscape sweeps across North America.

It takes 1 hour and 8 minutes for the moon's shadow to cross the country from Texas to Maine, crossing parts of 15 states.

The total eclipse darkened the sky in Kerrville, Texas, where a large number of eclipse watchers, including CNN and NASA, gathered at 2:32pm ET. While the weather was overcast, the moments when the sky cleared the crowd cheered and clapped for an epic display. Next cities and towns in the Midwest, Indianapolis and Cleveland saw spectators experience the thrill of a total eclipse.

The eclipse is expected to end at 5:16 pm local time (3:46 pm ET) on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Mazatlán, on Mexico's Pacific coast, became the first city to experience totality on Monday. See what the eclipse looks like Use our map to see when it appears in your area.

Those square to the centerline of the path of totality will see the eclipse lasting 3 ½ to 4 minutes. NASA.

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The diamond ring effect is visible as the moon eclipses the sun on Monday in Fort Worth, Texas.

In the United States, 32 million people live in the path of totality and people in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New York will be able to see the total solar eclipse. In Hampshire and Maine, the weather threatens to spoil the fun for some.

Only a few isolated clouds are expected in Vermont through Maine, as well as southern Indiana through Missouri, where optimal eclipse viewing is possible. However, most of Texas and the eastern Great Lakes may be found Less than ideal weather.

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I amIn the Northeast, eclipse chasers faced heavy traffic. While traveling on Interstate 93 near Lincoln, New Hampshire this morning, Karen Siegel encountered a full lane of parking lot-sized traffic. He said it would take five hours instead of three hours to drive from Newton, Massachusetts to Barton, Vermont.

“Our GPS said we'd get where we wanted to go, but parking at 2 miles an hour was a little scary!” Siegel said.

Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com

In a partial solar eclipse, the Moon appears to take a crescent-shaped “bite” from the Sun, visible to those outside the path of totality.

Remember Grab a pair of certified eclipse glasses or a solar viewer To see the sky safely; Without proper eye protection, it is not safe to view any phase of the eclipse except when the moon completely blocks sunlight. Sunglasses or multiple pairs of sunglasses just won't cut it. The biggest risk from viewing the Sun without eclipse glasses or the dark filter of solar viewers is permanent eye damage Solar retina. The condition may improve or worsen over time, but it cannot be cured.

Worried your eclipse glasses might be fake? There is a An easy way to test that problem. If your eclipse glasses aren't secure or you're worried about kids removing their glasses. Build a simple pinhole projector Join the eclipse cheer.

While totality is considered the most spectacular part of a total solar eclipse, there are others Special phases to be observed Before the big moment arrives.

Except for the weeks and months leading up to the eclipse, the longest phase of the event is a partial eclipse, as the Moon slowly moves above the Sun. This phase lasts for 70 to 80 minutes.

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But the best sign for visitors is when the sky starts to darken and turns an eerie gray 15 to 20 minutes before.

Then, just before the sun's light disappears completely from view, several phases occur rapidly.

Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Bailey's Bells are a brief phase of an eclipse that occurs just before totality.

Drips of sunlight form around the Moon, known as Bailey's beads, and sunlight streams onto the craters and valleys of the lunar surface. After about 30 seconds to a minute, some of those droplets coalesce, creating a sparkling “diamond ring” effect. After another minute, the moon will appear to move completely in front of the sun, and only a white halo will be visible as totality begins.

The glow belongs to the Sun's corona, or hot outer atmosphere, and its faint glow is visible only when the Sun's ultraviolet surface is blocked. Astronomers are eager to study the corona through several experiments including High altitude research flightsTo better understand the microscopic structures within it and why the corona is millions of degrees hotter than the surface of the Sun.

Although totality is the main event, some bright spots may be seen in the sky near the eclipse, including the faint glow of Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Look for points of light in the sky during an eclipse that represent planets.

Horned “Devil's Comet” or Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks May be too dim to see with or without binoculars – But Monday's eclipse is the key moment to watch Anyway, according to astronomers.

In the eternal darkness of a total eclipse, some diurnal animals may remain silent, while nocturnal creatures such as crickets may begin to chirp and stir. Scientists are interested in studying why animals behave unusually during the brief moments of eclipses. The public is invited to participate In some of the studies on Monday.

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Overall, expect local temperatures to drop briefly during those few moments.

A diamond ring effect is visible on the other side of the Moon, followed by the appearance of Bailey's bells, and then a temporary alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth, known as a CGG, ending a partial eclipse.

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Fernando Plain/AP

Amateur astronomers prepare to watch Monday's total solar eclipse in Mazatlán, Mexico.

Once the total solar eclipse is over, the next such celestial sightings in the United States will have to wait.

Residents of Alaska will see a total solar eclipse on March 30, 2033, and a partial solar eclipse will shine over most of the United States during that event.

A total solar eclipse won't be visible again from the contiguous US until August 22, 2044, but a total solar eclipse will only occur in North Dakota and Montana and northern Canada.

However, the next total solar eclipse along the coastal path of 48 states will occur on August 12, 2045. A total solar eclipse will occur in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Mississippi. , Alabama and Florida, other states will see a partial eclipse.

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