Total Eclipse of the Sun on April 8, 2024, USA – Animated
All 50 states will see a solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 (although I left Alaska and Hawaii out of the picture above). The path of totality will be broader in 2024 compared to 2017, which is good news for us because totality is over 4 minutes in duration in 2024. It was only two and a half minutes back in 2017.
For this particular eclipse, the path of totality begins and ends mainly in the western hemisphere on April 8, 2024.The graphic above shows why you have shading on the surface of the Earth (as you can see on this global map). The ground is darkest in the path of totality, because the Moon completely blocks the sunlight. As you move away from the path of totality, on the ground, the Moon is blocking less and less of the sunlight.
Notice how much darker Texas appears compared to Florida, for example. Again, sunlight is blocked totally in the central part of Texas by the Moon, whereas, in Florida, the Moon covers only about two-thirds of the Sun. If you were in Florida on that day, you would see very little difference between full daylight and the Sun partially obscured by the Moon at maximum eclipse.
Moon’s orbital plane influencing how the eclipse path looks in 2017 and 2024
As you can see, the shadow of the Moon, going across the Earth’s surface, is highly influenced by the tilt of its orbital plane. But, of course, rotation, distance, speed, and so on play a factor too! The Moon will be closer to us on April 8, 2024, than on August 21, 2017. Look how much larger the white ring is on Earth in 2024 compared to the 2017 globe up above!
I am doing these maps in the hope of making it easier to understand what is going on when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, as seen from various locations on Earth, especially the United States. Lines are fine, but the animation makes it so much easier to grasp!
Cat Stevens – Moonshadow