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Millions across North America await total solar eclipse on Monday

Millions across North America await total solar eclipse on Monday
8 Apr 2024 11:38

WASHINGTON (WAM)


A total solar eclipse will have millions of people across a heavily populated swath of North America gazing toward the heavens on Monday as the moon completely blocks the sun for more than four minutes in some locales, Reuters reported.

The eclipse will be viewable, weather permitting, along a path starting in Mexico and then crossing through the United States and into Canada. Eclipse fans are gathering in places along the "path of totality" including the city of Fredericksburg in central Texas, where the total eclipse will occur shortly after 1:30 pm (18.30 GMT/ 22.30 UAE).

That is where Michael Zeiler, a veteran eclipse chaser from New Mexico who already has witnessed 11 total eclipses across the globe, plans to be.

"First-time viewers of a total eclipse will be gobsmacked by the sight," Zeiler said. "It will be a peak life experience."

At up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds, this one will last longer than the total eclipse that streaked across parts of the United States in 2017, which clocked in at up to 2 minutes and 42 seconds. According to NASA, total eclipses can last anywhere from 10 seconds to about 7-1/2 minutes.

Some cities along the path of totality include: Mazatlan, Mexico; San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cleveland, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; both Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, site of the famed waterfall, and Montreal, Quebec.

A partial eclipse will be visible in North America outside the path of totality.

About 32 million people in the United States live within the path of totality, with federal officials predicting another five million people will travel to be there.

This will be the ninth total eclipse for Anthony Aveni, author of the book "In the Shadow of the Moon: The Science, Magic and Mystery of Solar Eclipses" and a professor emeritus of physics and astronomy, sociology and anthropology at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

"It is an interruption in nature's status quo," Aveni said. "And it's an interruption that takes your breath away."

Forecasters have said the weather could be cloudy in a large portion of the path of totality.

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