The next total solar eclipse in the Americas will occur on April 8th, 2024, and will be visible in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Known as The Great North American Eclipse, it will be a spectacular event that will draw observers from all over the world, who gather to watch breathlessly as the cosmos engage in this rare celestial dance!
If you’re one of thousands of solar eclipse chasers who wants to make the 2024 eclipse an unforgettable experience, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the eclipse information you’re looking for, including the science behind an eclipse, details about the path of totality, community information, and, of course, the equipment you need to view the eclipse safely. So read on – and be sure to keep this page bookmarked, as we will continue to update it periodically leading up to the big day!
What is a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are aligned in such a way that the Moon partially blocks sunlight and casts a shadow over a portion of the Earth. The result is an unusual phenomenon during which observers on Earth can see a fascinating celestial event. This can be a partial or total eclipse – with a total eclipse being particularly rare.
In a total eclipse, like the 2024 eclipse and the recent 2017 eclipse, the disk of the Sun is completely obscured by the Moon. This requires that the new moon within the eclipse season is more precisely aligned between the Earth (or, specifically, the observer on Earth) and the centers of the Moon and the Sun. Because a total solar eclipse requires this especially rare set of circumstances, you can only observe the event along the ‘path of totality’ – a narrow path along the surface of the planet traced by the Moon's shadow, also known as the ‘umbra’.
The Eclipse Path of Totality
In order to fully experience a total solar eclipse, you need to be within what is known as the path of totality, which is determined by the position of the sun and the moon – more specifically, the shadow of the moon – at the time of year during which the eclipse occurs. To view the 2024 eclipse in the United States, you’ll need to be somewhere along the path in one of the following states (click on any state to see a list of cities within the path):
Small sections of Michigan and Tennessee will also be in the path, but no major towns of cities; you’re best bet will be to avoid these states and head somewhere with a wider area covered by the path of totality.
Once you’ve chosen a destination to view the eclipse, you might want to pick a backup location! That’s because weather can play a significant role in your eclipse viewing experience.
Ahead of the big event, you’ll want to watch the forecast to make sure that the weather in your chosen location isn’t expected to include overcast skies. If you do happen to see clouds in the forecast, consider relocating to a sunnier spot – the sooner the better, as your fellow eclipse-watchers will likely have the same idea!
If you love watching eclipses as much as we do, you’ll likely want to connect with fellow eclipse-lovers ahead of the 2024 eclipse. There are plenty of ways to do so, including through social media channels and on eclipse community forums. There, you can find information about parties and other gatherings in your desired location, as well as updates about weather and traffic conditions, hotel and lodging, and the best places to eat so you can fuel up ahead of the big day!
How to Watch Safely
Let’s get this out of the way: eclipses are not dangerous – as long as you take the proper precautions! If you’re planning to watch the 2024 eclipse, it is critical that you have eye protection designed specifically for viewing eclipses, such as eclipse shades. We offer paper eclipse glasses, which can also be customized with your logo or brand, but our durable plastic glasses are an excellent bargain for those who want to reuse their eyewear in the future.
At Rainbow Symphony, all of our eclipse shades and glasses are CE certified and compliant with the standard for ISO 12312-2:2015, so you can enjoy the experience safely and confidently. If you want to photograph the event, you need to use specialized solar filters that fit over the lens of your camera.
In addition to being prepared with proper eye protection, you’ll likely want to bring along a comfortable folding chair, some water to stay hydrated, and a pair of binoculars or a camera with the proper solar filters to get an even better look at the action. Remember: never look directly at the sun; only view the eclipse through your specialized eclipse viewers, shades, or glasses. And if you have any questions about how to view an eclipse when the time comes, find a veteran eclipse chaser and let them show you how it’s done!
Order Your Eclipse Equipment
Rainbow Symphony is your one-stop shop for eclipse information and ISO Certified eclipse eyewear and solar filters. We want to be your go-to resource for information, updates, and equipment you need to view eclipses with unparalleled safety and clarity. For more information about our eclipse shades or solar filters, or to inquire about custom printing options on our paper eclipse viewers, please call us today at 818-708-8400, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.