Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Huge Crowds Await a Total Solar Eclipse in North America. Clouds May Spoil View.
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 2 months ago on
April 8, 2024

Vicki and Craig Musser, of Vernon Hills, Ill. take a selfie with a total eclipse themed race car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP/Michael Conroy)

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

MESQUITE, Texas — Millions of spectators along a narrow corridor stretching from Mexico to the U.S. to Canada eagerly awaited Monday’s celestial sensation — a total eclipse of the sun — even as forecasters called for clouds.

The best weather was expected at the tail end of the eclipse in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as New Brunswick and Newfoundland in Canada.

It promised to be North America’s biggest eclipse crowd ever, thanks to the densely populated path and the lure of more than four minutes of midday darkness in Texas and other choice spots. Almost everyone in North America was guaranteed at least a partial eclipse, weather permitting. The show gets underway in the Pacific shortly before noon EDT.

In Texas, the south-central region was locked in clouds, but it was a little bit better to the northeast, said National Weather Service meteorologist Cody Snell.

“Dallas is pretty much a 50-50 shot,” he said.

Weather Adds to the Drama

The cliff-hanging uncertainty added to the drama. But the overcast skies in Mesquite near Dallas didn’t rattle Erin Froneberger, who was in town for business and brought along her eclipse glasses.

“We are always just rushing, rushing, rushing,” she said. “But this is an event that we can just take a moment, a few seconds that it’s going to happen and embrace it.”

Sara Laneau, of Westfield, Vermont, woke up at 4 a.m. Monday to bring her 16-year-old niece to nearby Jay Peak ski resort to catch the eclipse after a morning on the slopes.

“This will be a first from me and an experience of a lifetime,” said Laneau, who was dressed in a purple metallic ski suit with a solar eclipse T-shirt underneath.

At Niagara Falls State Park, tourists streamed in under cloudy skies with wagons, strollers, coolers, and lawn chairs. Park officials expected a large crowd at the popular site overlooking the falls.

For Monday’s full eclipse, the moon was due to slip right in front of the sun, entirely blocking it. The resulting twilight, with only the sun’s outer atmosphere or corona visible, would be long enough for birds and other animals to fall silent, and for planets, stars, and maybe even a comet to pop out.

Darkness Could Last up to 4 Minutes, 28 Seconds

The out-of-sync darkness lasts up to 4 minutes, 28 seconds. That’s almost twice as long as it was during the U.S. coast-to-coast eclipse seven years ago because the moon is closer to Earth. It will be another 21 years before the U.S. sees another total solar eclipse on this scale.

Extending five hours from the first bite out of the sun to the last, Monday’s eclipse begins in the Pacific and makes landfall at Mazatlan, Mexico, before moving into Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and 12 other U.S. states in the Midwest, Middle Atlantic and New England, and then Canada. Last stop: Newfoundland, with the eclipse ending in the North Atlantic.

It will take just 1 hour, 40 minutes for the moon’s shadow to race more than 4,000 miles across the continent.

Eye protection is needed with proper eclipse glasses and filters to look at the sun, except when it ducks completely out of sight during an eclipse.

Path of Totality

The path of totality — approximately 115 miles — encompasses several major cities this time, including Dallas; Indianapolis; Cleveland; Buffalo, New York; and Montreal. An estimated 44 million people live within the track, with a couple hundred million more within 200 miles. Add in all the eclipse chasers, amateur astronomers, scientists, and just plain curious, and it’s no wonder the hotels and flights are sold out and the roads jammed.

Experts from NASA and scores of universities are posted along the route, poised to launch research rockets and weather balloons, and conduct experiments. The International Space Station’s seven astronauts also will be on the lookout, 270 miles up.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

DON'T MISS

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

DON'T MISS

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

DON'T MISS

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

DON'T MISS

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

DON'T MISS

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

DON'T MISS

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

DON'T MISS

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

DON'T MISS

UCLA Police Arrest Young Man for Alleged Felony Assault in Attack on Pro-Palestinian Encampment

DON'T MISS

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

UP NEXT

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

UP NEXT

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

UP NEXT

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

UP NEXT

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

UP NEXT

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

UP NEXT

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

UP NEXT

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

UP NEXT

UCLA Police Arrest Young Man for Alleged Felony Assault in Attack on Pro-Palestinian Encampment

UP NEXT

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

UP NEXT

Fresno County Fruit Trail: Rewards You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

18 hours ago

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

18 hours ago

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

20 hours ago

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

20 hours ago

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

20 hours ago

UCLA Police Arrest Young Man for Alleged Felony Assault in Attack on Pro-Palestinian Encampment

20 hours ago

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

20 hours ago

Fresno County Fruit Trail: Rewards You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

20 hours ago

Rising Stars Tigirlily Gold Wows the Crowd at 93.7 KISS Country Concert

21 hours ago

Get Ready for the Indy 500 With This Look at Parnelli Jones, JC Agajanian & the Willard Battery Special

22 hours ago

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

The California Senate has unanimously passed SB 1432, a bill introduced by Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Merced) to provide a transparent and accou...

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

7 hours ago

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

7 hours ago

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

18 hours ago

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

18 hours ago

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

20 hours ago

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

20 hours ago

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

20 hours ago

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend