We're thrilled to share insights about the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. While the 2023 annular eclipse offered a mesmerizing "ring of fire" viewable from many locations in Utah, the forthcoming total eclipse promises an even more captivating spectacle, though it will necessitate a bit of travel for those seeking the complete experience.

When and Where to Experience the Eclipse: This significant astronomical event is scheduled for Monday, April 8, 2024. The eclipse's path of totality will begin its journey across parts of Mexico's Pacific coast shortly after noon MT and will traverse through various U.S. locations before concluding off the shores of Newfoundland, Canada, at approximately 1:46 p.m. MT.

Observers positioned within the path of totality can expect an awe-inspiring display lasting up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds—marking it as one of the longest durations of totality observed in recent years, notably surpassing the 2017 total solar eclipse.

Viewing Opportunities Across North America: Although Utah will not be directly under the path of totality, several U.S. cities will enjoy this celestial phenomenon, including:

  • Dallas, Texas
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Poplar Bluff, Missouri
  • Paducah, Kentucky
  • Carbondale, Illinois
  • Evansville, Indiana
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Lancaster, New Hampshire
  • Caribou, Maine

For those in Utah eager to catch a glimpse of the eclipse, southeastern areas will offer the best vantage points. Mexican Hat will witness over 60% coverage, with coverage decreasing to around 50% as you approach the Wasatch Front and dropping to about 40% in Elko, Nevada.

Key moments for Utah viewers include:

  • 11:15 a.m. — Partial eclipse begins in St. George
  • 11:20 a.m. — Partial eclipse starts over the Wasatch Front
  • 12:20 p.m. — Peak of the eclipse visible across most of Utah
  • 1:45 p.m. — Eclipse viewing concludes in eastern Utah

Understanding Eclipses: The annular eclipse of October 2023, with its distinct "ring of fire" appearance, occurred when the moon, at its farthest from Earth, did not completely obscure the sun. Conversely, a total solar eclipse, such as the one anticipated on April 8, happens when the moon entirely blocks the sun, allowing for a brief period where the sun's corona is visible without the need for eclipse glasses.

Viewing Safety Tips: It's imperative to use proper eye protection when observing any phase of the eclipse, aside from the brief totality moment. Standard sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. For safe viewing, ensure your eclipse glasses or viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.

Looking Ahead: North America will not see another total solar eclipse until 2033. However, Utah is set to experience several partial eclipses in the coming years, with a particularly notable total eclipse on August 12, 2045, offering an exceptional viewing experience from Point of the Mountain to Spanish Fork, including all of Utah County.