ORLANDO, Fla.- – The year was 2017. Toilet paper could be found everywhere, but those specialized, eye-protecting solar eclipse glasses were flying off the shelves. Wednesday marked four years until the next Great American Eclipse. The total solar eclipse is on the bucket list of many because of their rarity and beauty in totality. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon moves in between the earth and sun, completely blocking out the sun in the sky.
Totality marks the moment when the moon is 100 percent blocking the sun, causing darkness to occur in the middle of the afternoon. With the sun’s light blocked, you can see the wispy corona or atmosphere of the sun. This is the only time and place where it is safe to take off your approved solar eclipse glasses to view. The minute the sun starts to emerge again, the glasses need to go back on or damage to your eyes can occur.
Glasses will need to be worn the whole time if you plan to view this eclipse from Florida as the sun will only partially be blocked by the moon. At its peak, about 60 percent of the sun will appear to be covered the moon.
Totality will occur from north to south bringing night to the middle of the day to places like Dallas, parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New England. Interestingly enough, the town of Carbondale, Illinois will again see totality after also seeing it in 2017.
If you’re planning to book a vacation around this once-in-a-lifetime event, consider the resort town of Mazatlan, Mexico. Totality occurs just after noon local time and climatologically speaking, is cloudy only 28 percent of the time in early April.
While we wait for stores to be restocked, now may be a good time to order those glasses before demand gets high leading up to the next Great American Eclipse. The next total lunar eclipse for Central Florida, when the earth moves between the sun and moon, turning the moon red, doesn’t occur until May of 2022. You don’t need special glasses to view lunar eclipses.