A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. 

Have you ever experienced a total solar eclipse?

Imagine watching the sky gradually darken, feeling the temperature drop as the Sun disappears behind the Moon, and hearing birds and insects grow quiet. Within the path of totality, in moments, you cycle from day to dusk to night to dawn and back to day. It is a remarkable experience and provides a powerful moment to inspire curiosity about our solar system and the world around us.

On April 8, 2024, a large swath of North America will be able to observe this awe-inspiring event. In the United States, the path of totality will cross 15 states and the eclipse will be partially visible in the 48 continental states.

This will be the last total solar eclipse in North America for twenty years.

A map of the contiguous U.S. shows the path of the 2024 total solar eclipse stretching on a narrow band from Texas to Maine.
IMAGE: The total solar eclipse will be visible along a narrow track stretching from Texas to Maine on April 8, 2024. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout all 48 contiguous U.S. states.
Want to download this map and view other versions? Visit NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio. Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Our Curiosity-Driven Science Initiative aims to create and take advantage of experiences that inspire people to explore and connect with science in their own lives, back yards and communities. The upcoming eclipse is a perfect opportunity to arouse that curiosity.

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is distributing free eclipse learning kits that include eclipse viewing glasses, and the Space Science Institute is partnering with more than 13,000 public libraries to distribute five million eclipse viewing glasses, provide educational materials and community programming.

“Libraries are an amazing community resource,” said Janet Coffey, program director for the Curiosity-Driven Science Initiative. “In partnership with the Space Science Institute, not only are they distributing safe-viewing glasses, but they are also holding workshops and bringing in volunteer science experts to support their community’s learning and engagement.”

“Libraries are an amazing community resource”

Are you ready? Stop by your local library, grab (or share) a pair of eclipse glasses, enjoy the science programming, and get ready for this incredible phenomenon! Visit timeanddate.com to learn what the eclipse will look like and when it will occur from wherever you may be.





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Solar Eclipses of 2023 and 2024: A North American “Double Header – A Guide for Public Libraries and their Communities


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