Here Comes the Sun: 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

March 22, 2024
Science Magazine

Above: Solar eclipse. Image courtesy of

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will be visible in 15 U.S. states, southeastern Canada, and northern Mexico. Solar eclipses occur when the Moon, Earth, and Sun align and the Moon moves in front of the Sun, temporarily blocking its light. This phenomenon creates a darkened sky—even during the day—with a halo of light around the moon. This upcoming total eclipse is extra special because it will be the last of its kind until August 2044

Where to Watch

Above: Path of total solar eclipse for April 8, 2024. Image courtesy of Prevent Blindness.

Portions of the states highlighted in blue above will witness the total eclipse. If these areas don’t include you, don’t lose hope! Viewers in all 48 contiguous states will still have the opportunity to view the partial solar eclipse. Additionally, sites like will broadcast the eclipse. 

When to Watch

You can visit and to determine when to view the eclipse in your area. For those in Durham, N.C., the partial eclipse will begin at 1:58 pm, max at 3:15 pm, and end at 4:29 pm EST. 

Above: Cities in N.C. where the eclipse will be visible. Image courtesy of Time and Date


Only during the brief period of totality, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun, is it safe to view the eclipse with the naked eye. Otherwise, looking directly at the Sun during a solar eclipse can result in severe eye injury due to solar retinopathy. To safely view the eclipse, you can purchase eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient—no matter how dark.

However, if you plan to view the eclipse through a camera, binoculars, or telescope, eclipse glasses are not safe. Instead, you must use specialized solar filters. Other methods such as pinhole and optical projections allow viewers to watch the Sun indirectly by projecting it onto a nearby surface. 

Eclipse watchers might be outside for hours, so it’s also important to remember sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing to prevent skin damage. For more information on eclipse safety, visit

Ashleigh Waterman

Ashleigh (Trinity ’26) is from North Carolina and is majoring in Neuroscience. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, baking, reading, and painting pottery.

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