2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (2024)

111 Posts

Sort by

8:04 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

In pictures: Watching the solar eclipse across North America

From CNN Digital’s Photo Team

2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (1)
2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (2)
2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (3)
2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (4)
2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (5)

Click here for more spectacular photos from today's eclipse.

7:27 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

Why eclipses create a "beautiful coincidence" on Earth

From CNN's Ashley Strickland

Americans are a little spoiled when it comes to eclipses. After all, we just experienced one that the majority of the country got to see, and it comes on the heels of the "Great American Eclipse" that tracked from Oregon to South Carolina in 2017.

But that doesn't often happen. And it won't again until the 2040s.

On average, an eclipse occurs in the same place every 375 years, said Dr. John Mulchaey, Carnegie Institution for Science’s deputy for science and the director and Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair of the Carnegie Observatories.

And we’re living at the right time to truly enjoy the sight of a total eclipse on Earth, he said.

While eclipses occur throughout the solar system, none are exactly like the ones experienced in our world.

The moon is about 400 times smaller than the sun, but the moon is also about 400 times closer to Earth than the sun is, creating a “beautiful coincidence” that results in eclipses when the three celestial bodies align, Mulchaey said.

This alignment is called syzygy, or when three objects line up in space.

In the distant past, the moon was much closer to Earth, which means totality likely didn’t appear as it does now. And within another 60 million years or so, the moon will be so far away that it will never cover the sun, making this a rare moment in time, Mulchaey said.

7:10 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

The long history of myths and folklore inspired by eclipses

From CNN's Ashley Strickland and Terry Ward

2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (6)

Eclipses have long inspired terror and awe as ancient cultures sought ways to explain the celestial phenomenon.

“I find the mythology and folklore of eclipses fascinating,” said Mark Littman, a journalism professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and coauthor of “Totality: The Great North American Eclipse of 2024.”

“To see how people long ago and people today reacted to a total eclipse of the Sun, a sight so unexpected, so dramatic, so surprising in appearance, and so unnatural even though it is utterly natural.”

Ancient records of eclipses date back to 772 BC, when the Chinese marked them on animal bones, and 750 BC, when Babylonians recorded eclipses in their cuneiform writing on clay tablets, Littmann said. Both cultures "realized there was a rhythm to eclipses," which meant they could be calculated and predicted in the future.

Despite the ability to predict eclipses, the cause of the eclipse remained unknown, so myths and folklore filled the knowledge gap.

"The mythology of eclipses most often involves a beast that tries to eat the sun for lunch.For the Chinese, that beast was a dragon or a dog. For Scandinavians, it was a wolf," Littmann said.

Those in northern South America thought the sun and moon fought one another, trying to shut off each other's light, he said.

Transylvanian folklore suggested that the sun looked down on Earth, saw the corruption of humans, and turned away in disgust.

And the Fon people of western Africa thought the male sun ruled the day, while the female moon ruled the night.

"They love each other, but they are so busy traversing the sky and providing light that they seldom get together," Littmann said. "Yet when they do, they modestly turn off the light."

6:49 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

Eclipses provide unique opportunities for NASA scientists to learn more about the future of the sun

From CNN's Elise Hammond

2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (7)

NASA scientists took full advantage of Monday’s eclipse to collect data and study the Earth, moon and sun in different ways, the agency’s deputy administrator said. One area of specific interest is the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere.

“This is a very elusive region and it can be viewed during a solar eclipse in a very special way,” Pam Melroy said during a news conference at the end of March.

She said understanding the corona is “key to understanding fundamental questions about how heat and energy are transferred out into the solar wind,” which contributes to how solar wind and flares impacts Earth.

“Things are happening with the corona (that) we don’t fully understand and the eclipse gives us a unique opportunity to collect data that may give insights into the future of our star,” Melroy said.

And this is an especially good year to study the corona, she said. The sun is approachingsolar maximum — the peak of activity — later this year, and scientists are eager to capture this moment through a variety of observations that can only occur during eclipses. During solar maximum, the sun’s magnetic poles flip and then the sun will grow quiet again during a solar minimum.

“The chance that we are going to see something amazing is very high,” Melroy said.

6:32 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

Former NASA astronaut says she hopes eclipse sparks sense of connectedness with the universe

From CNN's Elise Hammond

A former NASA astronaut said she hopes Monday’s total solar eclipse inspires a connection between everyone who witnessed it and the universe.

“We’re all part of this universe – and the universe was showing us some of its secrets at that point in time,” Mae Jemison told CNN.

While viewing totality in Bloomington, Indiana, the former astronaut said she was thinking about other times she experienced eclipses.

When she saw a partial eclipse as a child in Chicago, Jemison said she was trying to make sense of what was happening.

But then thinking about her time as an astronaut, “it reinforced the feeling that when I look up, when I look away from the Earth when I was in space, it again connects me with this world, with this universe – and know that I have a responsibility.”

Jemison said science is about building on knowledge for the next generation, and the eclipse was an opportunity to do just that. Scientists used Monday’s eclipse to gather data to better understand the sun but Jemison said she hopes there is also learning at a personal level.

“I hope what people discover is themselves and their connectedness to the rest of the universe,” she said.

6:07 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

Eclipse Explained: Is there anywhere that saw totality in both 2017 and 2024?

From CNN's Elise Hammond

2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (8)

Yes! There is an area where both 2017 and 2024 paths of totality intersect. According to a map from NASA, that area includes parts of Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky.

One of the places in that intersection, Carbondale, Illinois, experienced the longest period of totality in 2017 at 2 minutes, 42 seconds, according to NASA.

5:44 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

Seeing the eclipse again more than 20 years later

From CNN's Christina Zdanowicz

2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (9)

Juan M. Soto Peña and his wife experienced the joy of a total solar eclipse alongside their daughter, Luciana, in Tucson, Arizona.

The couple saw a partial solar eclipse together on December 25, 2000, in the state of Sonora in Mexico, he said.

A first timer thrilled to see the Sun and Moon together. Great experience!" he said.

5:42 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

Worried about eye damage? Here are the signs you should visit an optometrist after the eclipse

From CNN's Ashley Strickland

2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (10)

Maybe your eclipse glasses were fake. Perhaps you forgot to slip them back on as the first bit of sunlight reappeared after totality. Or you noticed your child, friend or family member looking up at the sun without putting on their glasses.

Symptoms of eye damage after improperly viewing the eclipse without proper protection can take hours or days to manifest. They include loss of central vision, altered color vision or distorted vision.

And if you notice any symptoms or experience eye discomfort, make an appointment immediately using the American Optometric Association's doctor locator, said Ronald Benner, an optometrist and president of the American Optometric Association.

“For most people, it’s an alteration of color vision,” Benner said. “The next morning, colors just don’t look right, or it may be bleached out it or just kind of hazy all the time. For others, it may be that they actually have holes in their vision.”

If the damage occurs in the center of someone’s vision, it can affect the ability to read or recognize faces, Benner said.

5:22 p.m. ET, April 8, 2024

Here's what the eclipse looked like from the International Space Station

From CNN's Taylor Nicioli

2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (11)

From space, crew members at the International Space Station saw a different perspective of the celestial event — the moon’s shadow cast onto Earth.

The orbiting laboratory "soared into the moon’s shadow" and NASA Flight Engineers Matthew Dominick and Jeanette Epps got a chance to capture it following their “workday filled with cargo transfers, spacesuit maintenance, and microgravity research,” according to a statement from NASA. The astronauts took pictures and videos of the shadow of the moon as seen from their position about 260 miles above southeastern Canada.

2024 total solar eclipse moves past path of totality (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rueben Jacobs

Last Updated:

Views: 6434

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rueben Jacobs

Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.