Behind the 2024 solar eclipse

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This year marks a significant event as for the first time since 2017, Earth will experience a solar eclipse, which will occur April 8.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, effectively blocking all sunlight in a certain path. During the eclipse, observers will experience the sky darkening, resembling what it looks like during dawn or dusk.

The eclipse unfolds in several phases, beginning with a partial eclipse where the moon appears in a crescent shape which will be visible for around 70 to 80 minutes. As they wait for total darkness, those watching can anticipate phenomena such as Baily’s Beads, where the sun’s rays shine around valleys on the moon’s horizon, creating glowing drops of light. Shortly later, a single point of light known as the “diamond ring effect” will shimmer, signaling the imminent disappearance of direct sunlight. When darkness hits, the chromosphere, a part of the sun’s inner atmosphere glows in a thin pink circle around the moon while the corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere, emits a white light.

The eclipse’s path spans across parts of Mexico, Canada and over 10 U.S. states, with a crescent-shaped partial solar eclipse visible in 49 states. Florida is not one of the 10 states in the direct path of the eclipse; however, a partial eclipse will be visible starting at around 1:35 p.m. If you would like to see exactly where you should head to witness the eclipse, you can click here, but those residing in Central Florida, specifically in areas around Orlando, have the advantage. Although South Florida may not have the greatest view of the eclipse, you can livestream the entire event here

2024’s solar eclipse marks a rare occurrence, especially for Americans. Although total solar eclipses happen every 1-3 years, the next one that will be visible across North America is not expected until August 2044. (Photo/Get Archive)

Irene, now a senior at American Heritage, returns to staff as the Online-Editor-in-Chief for her third and final year with the Patriot Post. She loves all things literature and spends most of her time with her nose in a book. Her passion for writing started early, and she is currently the co-president of the Quill and Scroll Society. When she is not studying or writing articles for the wonderful iPatriotPost, she enjoys volunteering and helping lead a multitude of clubs at Heritage. Since 2014, she has worked alongside Best Buddies, an organization that advocates for inclusivity for those with intellectual and physical disabilities. As a co-founder and current board member of the South Florida Best Buddies Student Advisory Board, she plans fundraisers and service projects, including the annual Friendship Walk, which raised almost $300,000. She looks forward to making this year special and as amazing as possible.