There is a total solar eclipse on April 8

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It will be the last total solar eclipse seen from the contiguous United States for the next two decades.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on the planet.
Occasionally, an eclipse can shift between annular and total as the moon’s shadow moves across Earth’s curved surface, causing a hybrid solar eclipse.
How unusual is a total solar eclipse?
Furthermore, a total solar eclipse can only be seen, on average, every 375 years from any given location on the planet.
The contiguous United States won’t see another total solar eclipse until 2044, according to NASA.
In 2033, a total solar eclipse will be visible from northern and western Alaska.
The last time a total solar eclipse occurred over the Chicago area was 1806, more than three decades before the city of Chicago was founded.

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Daytime skies in North America will become darker on April 8 due to the moon blocking out sunlight. The contiguous United States will not witness another total solar eclipse for the next twenty years.

Why is this such an unusual and historic occasion, and what can Illinoisans do to be ready?

All of your questions can be answered right here.

Which are the types of solar eclipses?

When the moon moves in front of the sun and covers the Earth, a solar eclipse happens. Typically, two happen annually, but occasionally there may be as many as five. However, only a small portion of the world can see them. Solar eclipses come in four varieties.

A total solar eclipse, which will happen in southern Illinois and other parts of the United States on Monday, is created when the moon completely obscures the sun as it passes between the Earth and the sun.

Partial eclipses happen when the sun and moon don’t align exactly, but the moon still covers part of the sun, giving the sun a crescent shape. On Monday, there will be a partial eclipse over Chicago.

The skies over Chicago grew gloomy in October 2023 due to an annular solar eclipse. This occurs when the moon, at roughly its furthest point in its orbit around the Earth, passes across the sun. Sunlight creates an illusion of a “ring of fire” surrounding the moon because it is smaller than the sun and does not fully encircle it.

A hybrid solar eclipse can occasionally occur when the moon’s shadow moves across the curved surface of Earth, changing the eclipse from annular to total.

A total solar eclipse is unusual to what extent?

A lunar eclipse is an uncommon sight for humans to witness, typically encompassing less than 1% of the planet’s surface. Additionally, from any given location on the planet, a total solar eclipse can only be seen, on average, once every 375 years.

Although it’s extremely uncommon for two of these occurrences to happen in the same location within ten years, total eclipses were witnessed in 2017 and will happen again this year in portions of Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois.

When and where can I see the eclipse?

The moon will totally obscure the sun for those who are within the 115-mile-wide lunar shadow, also referred to as the path of totality. 15 states are included in this: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

But 99 percent of U. s. Every contiguous state, as well as some areas of Alaska and Hawaii, will witness at least a partial solar eclipse.

The partial eclipse will occur between 12:51 and 3:22 p.m., even though Chicago will not be in the path of totality. m. on Monday. It was exactly 2:07 p.m. m. nearly 94% of the sun that can be seen from the area will be obscured by the moon.

At roughly 12:43 p.m., the moon will make first contact with the sun in Carbondale, which is in the path of totality. M. At 1:59 p.m., the total eclipse will start. m. and last for forty-nine seconds. At 3:18 p.m., the moon and sun will make their final touch. M.

To find out how much of the sun will be covered during the eclipse and at what time, users can enter a ZIP code or city into NASA’s Eclipse Explorer at eclipse-explorer . smce . nasa . gov.

When will the United States be able to witness a total eclipse again?

NASA predicts that the next total solar eclipse over the contiguous United States won’t occur until 2044. Only Montana and North Dakota will be touched by that one. Northern and western Alaska will be able to witness a total solar eclipse in 2033.

Three decades before the city of Chicago was established, in 1806, the last total solar eclipse to pass over the Chicago region was experienced. The following total eclipse that the city will be able to see is scheduled for September. 14, 2099.

Which weather can we expect?

In 2017, disgruntled spectators were prevented from seeing the eclipse’s totality when heavy clouds moved into Carbondale and other areas of Illinois. To guarantee the greatest eclipse experience, it is imperative to monitor the weather, particularly cloud forecasts.

by one pm. me. On social media sites for the Weather Prediction Center and the National Weather Service, as well as on the center’s homepage at wpc . ncep . noaa . gov, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide updates on cloud cover daily leading up to the eclipse.

Southern Illinois may rank among the best observing locations, according to early forecasts for the least amount of cloud cover, according to Joe Lundberg, senior long-range meteorologist at AccuWeather.

What kind of traffic is typical?

In a press release, AccuWeather advised travelers to be on the lookout for a storm that could move from the southern Rockies to the central Plains and Midwest the weekend before the eclipse.

Lead long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok stated, “The storms will impact travel, as well as those camping outdoors in the days leading up to the eclipse.”. “From the central Plains to north Texas, strong storms are possible.”. There is a risk from torrential rains and even tornadoes. “.

In order to reduce traffic congestion, authorities are also advising the public, particularly those who are driving to witness the eclipse in its totality, to allow extra time for their journey home or to think about remaining in the area for an additional day or two.

Get some solar glasses and make your own eclipse projector.

The five-hour journey from southern Illinois to Chicago would have taken three times as long due to traffic after the 2017 eclipse. Traffic on highways and backroads slowed to a crawl.

Driving should always include a fully charged phone, a full gas tank, an ample supply of food, and bottled water, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Transportation officials predict that southern Illinois will see crowds of 100,000–200,000 people.

Direct access to the totality path, U.S., will be provided by I-57. s. Illinois Route 1, I-64, and I-70 will also provide access to the area, and 45 will pass through the center of the path. On state-funded projects, lane closures will not apply the weekend before the eclipse or the day following it.

Using the gettingaroundillinois . com website to access travel advisories and conditions is advised by IDOT representatives.

Where to view videos online.

Upon 12 p.m. me. till three p.m. m. NASA will broadcast live telescope views of the eclipse on Monday at Central from various locations along the moon’s path. Both science . nasa . gov and the agency’s YouTube channel will offer the broadcast.

A livestream will be available starting at 11 a.m. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. m. till 3:30 p.m. M. that will have its anchor in southern Illinois and receive feeds from various locations, starting in Mazatlán, Mexico, and finishing in Newfoundland, Canada. On YouTube, it can be found at youtube . com/@NASAsolarSTEAM.

How to improve the experience of watching.

Since staring at the sun directly can cause severe harm and even permanent blindness, experts advise getting certified and safe solar viewing glasses. Eclipse, the website of the American Astronomical Society. A list of suppliers and producers of safe solar glasses and handheld viewers can be found at aas . org/eye-safety/viewers-filters.

On the big day, eye experts also advise wearing red or green or selecting a lush field; the contrast between these colors can be interesting as the eyes adjust to the special lighting of a total eclipse.

Seeing a total solar eclipse is so uncommon that those who have experienced it advise appreciating the various sensory experiences as well as considering how the celestial phenomenon impacts Earthly conditions and life.

In order to gather more information about animal behavior throughout the path of totality for a national ecology project, residents and researchers in Carbondale, for example, will pay close attention and record sounds.

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