The 5 stages of the 2024 total solar eclipse explained for April 8.

On Monday, April 8, the 2024 total solar eclipse will sweep through the sky over North America. 

While all of North America and Central America will experience at least a partial solar eclipse, those within a path with a width of approximately 115 miles (185 kilometers) passing over 15 U.S. States. Mexico, and Canada will also witness a totality as the moon entirely covers the disk of the sun.

There are three major types of solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse like that on April 8 occurs when the moon is relatively close to Earth and blocks the entire disk of the sun. 

Because the moon's orbit around our planet is an ellipse, sometimes it is further away and thus appears smaller. An eclipse at these times sees the moon only an obscure part of the solar disk, with the sun appearing as a glowing ring of fire. These events are called annular solar eclipses, and the last one seen over the U.S. occurred on Oct. 14, 2023.

Finally, a partial solar eclipse is an event that happens when the Earth, moon, and sun are not perfectly aligned, resulting in the lunar disk only covering part of our star, making the sun appear as if a bite has been taken out of it. Partial eclipses also happen at the beginning and ending stages of total and annular eclipses.

On April 8, 2024, the moon will be in its new moon phase, and it will look relatively large, meaning it is capable of covering 100% of the sun's disk as viewed from the narrow path of totality. The fraction of the diameter of the sun covered by the moon is known as the magnitude of a solar eclipse. On April 8, 2024, this value will be 1.0566, according to EclipseWise.com, slightly more than total coverage. 

Source: www.space.com


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