The total solar eclipse 2024 is happening today! Here's what you need to know

The total solar eclipse 2024 is happening today! Here's what you need to know By Sruthi Nair - April 08, 2024
Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely covering the sun's face along a narrow path known as the "path of totality." This rare event causes the daytime sky to darken, resembling dusk or dawn, and may confuse nocturnal animals into thinking night has fallen.

During a total solar eclipse, observers within the path of totality can witness the sun's corona, its outer atmosphere, which is typically obscured by the sun's brightness. Those outside the path will experience a partial eclipse, with the moon covering most but not all of the sun's face.

When, where will it be visible?

The upcoming April 8 eclipse will begin over the South Pacific and traverse Mexico's Pacific coast before reaching Texas in the United States. While not visible in Qatar, enthusiasts can watch NASA's official live broadcast.

A total solar eclipse unfolds in several stages, starting with a partial eclipse where the sun appears crescent-shaped. This is followed by the Baily’s Beads phase, where points of light shine around the moon's edges, and the diamond ring phase, resembling a diamond ring as a bright spot appears along the lunar edge. Totality occurs when the sun's atmosphere forms a ring of light around the moon.

How do you safely view an eclipse?

It's crucial to view an eclipse safely to avoid eye damage. Experts recommend using specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing, such as solar viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers. Regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing the sun. The only time it's considered safe to view an eclipse without protection is during totality when the sun is completely blocked by the moon.

By Sruthi Nair - April 08, 2024

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