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The Total Solar Eclipse on April 8th

All About the April 8th Solar Eclipse

A total solar eclipse that occurs once in more than a hundred years was seen by hundreds if not thousands of people on April 8th, 2024. In order to learn about solar eclipses in general, we must learn about why this event was so significant, and why so many people around the world wanted to take the time out of their day to watch it.

Solar eclipses typically occur every two to five years, so a handful of people don’t feel the need to get their special safety glasses on and stare at the sun whenever these eclipses happen. There are four main types of solar eclipses. There are total eclipses (like the one we witnessed on April 8th), partial eclipses, annual eclipses and hybrid eclipses.

Types of Eclipses:

Total Eclipses – This event is quite rare because it takes a fairly long amount of time for the Moon to cover the sun in its orbit around the Earth.

Partial Eclipses – In this event, the sun and the moon do not line up in our perspective, but the moon covers the sun to some extent on the side, helping us see a partial eclipse.

Annual Eclipse – The moon is at a point in which it seems to be visually smaller than the Sun when it is in front of it, therefore showing the annulus of the sun.

Hybrid Eclipse – Hybrid eclipses are also very rare, and a partial eclipse first occurs before the total eclipse in one of these eclipses. The last one that occured was actually very recently, happening back in 2013. The next one of these eclipses is expected to occur in 2031.

Safety: As discussed before, you need to wear eclipse glasses in order to protect your eyes from the harmful waves that the sun emits. After staring at the sun for some time you may not face the effects immediately, but over time you may find out that you harmed your eyes years ago, to the point where you cannot see things clearly. You can buy these glasses for three dollars or more if you want designs on it either in person at your local science center/shop or with an online vendor.

Eclipse glasses do not protect your eyes in the most effective manner however, but you should still wear them when you are watching any eclipse. They also allow you to see the eclipse itself better, especially if it is really sunny outside.

Seeing the Eclipse:

Here in Jersey City, we had about a 91% viewing angle of the eclipse. This means that about 91% of the sun was covered by the moon from our perspective! Up in New York, I believe that there were one hundred percent places you could watch the eclipse at.

Some places in Texas and New York did not have the best viewing angle because of the area’s weather circumstances.

The eclipse lasted for about four minutes and twenty-eight seconds and was streamed on multiple online platforms in case you couldn’t clearly see the eclipse from where you are. Disney+ had released a live stream of the eclipse as well.

Liberty Science Center:

The Liberty Science Center hosted a show in its planetarium that was in correlation with the April 8th solar eclipse, and the gift shop there was selling some safety glasses to view the solar eclipse. On the day of the eclipse itself, a huge viewing party got to get together and see the eclipse.

Therefore, when another solar eclipse happens near you, you should probably visit one of your local science centers in order to get together with family and friends and learn more about solar eclipses and astronomy in general!


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