Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Watch The Eclipse Online

Watch The Eclipse Online

A note to the procrastinators among us in North America: If you miss out on today's total solar eclipse, your next chance to watch daylight plunge into darkness midday will be in April 2024. At least a partial eclipse will be visible throughout the continental United States, and nowhere else.

This is the first total solar eclipse viewable from the continental USA since 1979, and the first coast-to-coast in 99 years.

Despite the cloudy weather the students of Port St. Joe High School were enthusiastic and thankful they got to experience the solar eclipse. If not, another safe method to view the eclipse would involve making a pinhole camera, using only a shoebox and some aluminum foil.

It is the first total eclipse on American soil since 1991, when one was visible from the Big Island of Hawaii. A lunar eclipse, by contrast, occurs when the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon.

Total solar eclipses happen because the Sun's diameter is 400 times wider than the Moon's, but it is also 400 times farther away.

Despite the picturesque qualities of the eclipse, remember that looking directly at the Sun can cause damage to eyes.

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Can you look at a partial solar eclipse? The eclipse is expected to last about three hours from start to finish, with totality lasting a maximum of 2 minutes and 40 seconds. NASA says the path of totality will span from Texas to Maine.

The first solar eclipse happened in the beginning of the year on February 26, 2017.

Oh no! I won't be in North America on that day. For most countries in Northwestern Europe, including the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal, the Sun will set before the eclipse has had time to finish.

Jeff McIntosh/Canadian PressLens flare creates ghost images in this view of a partial solar eclipse from the Spark Science Centre in Calgary, on August 21, 2017.

The magnificent astronomical phenomenon is referred to as "The Great American Eclipse".

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