ORLANDO, Fla. – The countdown is on.
In 2017, the nation was captivated by a total solar eclipse that was seen all across America. Those in the little sliver of totality were treated to a bucket-list spectacle.
Now, the nation waits for the return of the rare, must-see event.
The total solar eclipse is on the bucket list of many because of its rarity and beauty in totality. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon moves between Earth and the sun, completely blocking out the sun in the sky.
Totality marks the moment when the moon is 100% 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 the eclipse from Florida as the sun will only partially be blocked by the moon. At its peak, about 60% of the sun will appear to be covered by the moon.
Temperatures will cool slightly in the afternoon and it will get a little darker as part of the sun is obstructed.
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% of the time in early April.
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 2022. You don’t need special glasses to view lunar eclipses.
There will be two, nearly total, partial lunar eclipses, later on in 2021.