4/8/24 Solar Eclipse – You Won’t Want to Miss It!

black background with the text Solar Eclipse 2024, April 8 and the zero in 2024 is an eclipsed sun

What Is a Solar Eclipse?

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will pass over North America. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun, completely blocking the face of the Sun. Don’t miss this exciting phenomenon, as this will be the last total solar eclipse, visible from the contiguous United States, until 2044.

Helix element from the FMSM logo in a gradient from the top (yellow) down to bottom (red)

Safety is Our First Priority

NASA warns that it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

To look directly at the solar eclipse, you will need special-purpose solar viewing eclipse glasses, or viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 standard.

The following link, provided by the American Astronomical Society, contains a list of reputable sellers of safe eclipse viewing glasses, and solar viewing filters. 

Will You Be Able to See the Eclipse in North Dakota?

What you will be able to see during the solar eclipse depends on the weather and location from where you are viewing it.

People in locations where the shadow of the Moon completely covers the Sun are in what is called the path of totality. For the April 8th solar eclipse, this approximately 115-mile-wide path extends from Mexico, through Texas, and northeast toward Maine and Eastern Canada. As the Moon eclipses the sun, the sky will become dark, and will resemble dusk or dawn.

Even though we are not in the path of totality, the Fargo-Moorhead region will still experience a partial solar eclipse, weather permitting, and you can expect to see approximately 60% of the sun covered.

The eclipse will last about 2.5 hours, with maximum coverage occurring at approximately 2 PM (CT).

Helix element from the FMSM logo in a gradient from the top (yellow) down to bottom (red)

Watch NASA and PBS Videos on the 2024 Solar Eclipse

NASA warns that it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

Make A Box Pinhole Projector at Home

A pinhole projector is another safe way to view the solar eclipse indirectly.  Click on the video below for instructions on how to make your own pinhole projector at home.

Other Ways to Safely View the Eclipse

If you don’t have time to make a pinhole projector, don’t worry, there are other ways to view the eclipse, using items you probably already have.  Household items like colanders, cheese graters or index cards with holes punched in them can project mini eclipses on the ground.

By using these, you will not be looking at the sun, so it is another safe way to see the eclipse. Hold the item with the sun behind you and let the sunlight shine through the item, making a shadow on the ground. Through the holes of the object, you will be able to see the effects of the eclipse.

White colander
Cheese grater
Metal strainer spoon

Interested in Supporting the Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum?

Thank you for your interest in supporting our capital campaign! This is a community effort, every dollar counts towards making this science museum a reality. If you are interested in donating,  making a transformational or major gift, or if you are interested in leaving a legacy through planned giving, please contact us at engagement@fmsm.org

The Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum is a 501(c) (3) organization and your gift is entirely tax-deductible.

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