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We’re just a few days away from the event everyone’s talking about: On Monday, April 8, most of North America will have the chance to see the Moon pass in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse. According to NASA, it will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044.

To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime happening, NASA is inviting the public to participate with in-person events, opportunities to do NASA science, and multiple ways to watch online.

Total Solar Eclipse
The April 8, 2024 solar eclipse will be visible in the entire contiguous United States, weather permitting. People along the path of totality stretching from Texas to Maine will have the chance to see a total solar eclipse; outside this path, a partial solar eclipse will be visible. (Click image to enlarge. Credits: NASA)

 

Millions of people along the path of totality — which stretches from Texas to Maine in the U.S. — will see a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely covers the Sun. Outside the path of totality, people across the contiguous U.S. will have a chance to see a partial solar eclipse, when the Moon covers part of the Sun. (See below for how to watch safely.)

Live Coverage Of The Total Solar Eclipse

On Monday, April 8, NASA will host live coverage of the eclipse starting at 1 p.m. EDT. Coverage will include live views of the eclipse from across North America, special appearances by NASA experts, astronauts aboard the space station, and an inside look at NASA’s eclipse science experiments and watch parties across the country.

NASA’s broadcast will last three hours, and feature live locations from across the nation —  including the agency’s only center in the path of totality, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio. It will also include the following locations:

  • Carbondale, Illinois
  • Dallas
  • Houlton, Maine
  • Indianapolis
  • Kerrville, Texas
  • Niagara Falls, New York
  • Russellville, Arkansas

The NASA broadcast will stream on NASA+, air on NASA TV, and the agency’s website. NASA also will host a watch party of the eclipse in Spanish starting at 1:30 p.m. on YouTube.

NASA will provide a no-commentary, telescope-only feed of the eclipse on NASA Television’s media channel and YouTube, starting at 1 p.m. and running for three hours. The telescope feed will incorporate views from multiple locations, and will be switched based on weather, the eclipse’s progress, and feed availability. Locations may include:

  • Carbondale, Illinois
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Houlton, Maine
  • Indianapolis
  • Junction, Texas
  • Kerrville, Texas
  • Mazatlán, Mexico
  • Niagara Falls, New York
  • Russellville, Arkansas
  • Torreón, Mexico
  • Tupper Lake, New York
eclipse, NASA
A view of the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse from Madras, Oregon. (Image: NASA / Gopalswamy)

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will provide a commentated livestream of three sounding rocket launches for the Atmospheric Perturbations around Eclipse Path mission. The livestream will begin at 2:30 p.m. on NASA Wallops’ YouTube channel and conclude after the last of the three sounding rocket launches.

NASA’s interactive Eclipse Explorer Map will allow users to track the total solar eclipse in real time as it moves across North America. You can use the tool ahead of time to search by zip code or city for eclipse timing, get real-time weather updates, percent of eclipse coverage, and even a corona prediction for locations in the path of totality.

Irving, Texas To Serve Up World’s Largest Moon Pie During Solar Eclipse

Any good host knows that snacks make the party. In Texas, Visit Irving is taking that practice to the extreme: Partygoers at Levy Event Plaza attending the city’s “Total Eclipse in the Park” on April 8 will not only experience four solid minutes of totality during the total solar eclipse, but also get a slice of the World’s Largest Moon Pie.

The Moon Pie weighs 150-180 pounds, measures five feet in diameter by four inches thick, and contains 1,400 servings. It was crafted by Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas (ICC) Executive Chef Eduardo Alvarez, with guidance from ICC General Manager Tom Meehan.

“For a once-in-a-lifetime event, we wanted to do something out-of-the ordinary,” said Meehan. “When I brought the idea to our chef, he shook his head and said ‘Never in my career did I think I’d do something like this.'”

Moon Pie
The World’s Largest Moon Pie will be served during the Total Eclipse in the Park event at the Las Colinas Urban Center in Irving, Texas.

 

After five test runs, Chef Alvarez and his team are ready for the eclipse. The Moon Pie is made with 64 pounds of marshmallows, 128 eggs, 36 pounds of unsalted butter, 16 pounds of brown sugar, 60 pounds of all-purpose flour, and 45 pounds of marshmallow cream coated in 60 pounds of melted chocolate and 42 pounds of graham cracker crumbs.

Watching your waistline while watching the eclipse? Total calorie count for the Moon Pie is 365,042 calories, or 260 per serving.

A crowd uses handheld solar viewers and solar eclipse glasses to safely view a solar eclipse. (Credit: National Park Service)

Eye Safety During The Total Solar Eclipse

Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

Here are some important safety guidelines to follow during a total solar eclipse:

  • View the Sun through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality.
  • You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the Moon completely obscures the Sun’s bright face – during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. (You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the Sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.)
  • As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright Sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the Sun.

 

Total Solar Eclipse
This composite image of eleven pictures shows the progression of a total solar eclipse over Madras, Oregon, on Aug. 21, 2017. (Image: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

 

Click here for more detailed safety tips for viewing the total solar eclipse, courtesy of NASA.

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