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Solar Eclipse 2024: Eclipse Information

Smiley Memorial Library's guide to the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse

Text graphic reading Solar Eclipse 2024 in white font on a black background

Information about the Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse 2024

A solar eclipse will be observable from the United States on April 8. Although only a small strip of the nation in the "path of totality" will be able to see a total solar eclipse, the rest of the continental United States should be able to see a partial eclipse, depending on weather and cloud cover on that day. We should be able to see a 94% eclipse from Fayette.

What Causes A Solar Eclipse?

NASA explains:

Eclipses occur due to the special coincidence of the Moon and the Sun being the same angular size. The Sun is approximately 400 times wider than the Moon, but it is also approximately 400 times farther away, so they appear to be the same size in our sky. This is what allows the Moon to completely block the Sun during total solar eclipses. (Source: Total Solar Eclipse FAQ)

What Will You Be Able to See From Campus?

Although Fayette is not in the path of the totality, you will still be able to see around a 94% eclipse from campus (depending on the cloud cover that day).

When Will You Be Able to See the Eclipse?

The partial eclipse will begin between 1:53 p.m. and 1:56 p.m. on April 8th.

How Can You Watch the Eclipse?

It is not safe to look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse. To safely view the solar eclipse and protect your eyes, you will need to wear special "eclipse glasses" that help filter the sun. Understand that sunglasses will not work the same as eclipse glasses, and you will risk eye damage if you try this.

Can I Look at the Solar Eclipse Through a Camera Lens?

No. Unless you have a camera equipped with a sun filter, you should not view the solar eclipse through a phone, camera, or other optical device. Even with solar glasses on, the concentrated rays of the sun could permanently damage your eyes and/or the sensors in your camera. Read More about eclipse safety on NASA's website.

How Often Do Solar Eclipses Occur?

Solar eclipses occur two to five times a year in some form. Total solar eclipses occur around every 18 months, but they are only visible in certain parts of the world. The next time that a solar eclipse will be seen over the United States will be in August 2044.

Read More about the Solar Eclipse

Learn More About the Eclipse

  • 2024 Total Solar Eclipse - This online resource offered by NASA provides photographs, interactive maps, and short articles pertaining to the April 8 solar eclipse and what you should expect. Included are pages discussing eclipse safety and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the eclipse.

Local News

National News

What Scientists Can Learn From the Solar Eclipse

Studying the Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipses offer scientists a unique opportunity to study part of the sun's atmosphere, called the corona. The corona is only visible when the bright light of the sun is blocked, making solar eclipses a unique opportunity for scientists to study regions of the corona closest to the surface of the sun. Past solar eclipses have allowed scientists to study solar storms, and even prove Einstein's Theory of General Relativity! Read more in this selection of articles or watch this short three and a half minute video from NASA.

(Source: NASA Goddard)

The Purkinje Effect and the Eclipse

The Purkinje Effect and the Solar Eclipse - How the Darkness Affects Our Perception of Color

Did you know that darkness affects our perception of color? As the light shifts, our eyes become more sensitive to blues and greens because of their shorter wavelengths. At the same time, the opposite occurs with reds and oranges because of their longer wavelengths. This means that blues and greens will seem more vibrant in the darkness, while reds will lose their hue. This is known as the Perkinje Effect. Try this out the day of the eclipse and wear reds and greens! (Source: Johnathan Corum | Maps of the April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse | March 25, 2024 | The New York Times).


Photograph of a total solar eclipse taken in 2017

A photograph of the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse as seen above Madras Oregon (Source: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Image of 2017 solar eclipse just before totality

Photograph of the August 2017 solar eclipse, taken in Madras, Oregon (Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani).

Photograph showing the diamond-ring effect at the end of a solar eclipse

At the beginning and end of a total eclipse, viewers get to see what is called the diamond-ring effect (Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas).

Images of a partial eclipse taken in 2017 from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Photograph of partial solar eclipse over Oregon in August 2017

Photograph of a partial solar eclipse taken in August 2017 from Oregon State Fair Grounds, Salem, Oregon (Credit: NASA)

Solar Eclipse Explained

What Causes a Solar Eclipse?

How do Animals and Wildlife React?

How to Animals and Wildlife React to Solar Eclipses?

One interesting area of study surrounding the solar eclipse is research relating to how animal behaviors are impacted as a result of the sudden change of light during a total solar eclipse.

Read more about this research in "Researchers to observe how total solar eclipse affects animal behavior" by Christina Larson.

Astronomers Explain What to Expect

What to Expect with the Solar Eclipse

Astronomers from Cornell University explain what to expect during the upcoming solar eclipse in this short 4 minute video.

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Images of the 2017 Solar Eclipse

(Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Smiley Memorial Library

Central Methodist University
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Fayette, MO 65248