SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Utahns prepare for partial eclipse while millions hope for clear skies to see total solar eclipse

Mar 4, 2024, 1:59 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2024, 6:12 am

FILE: The sun is seen in full eclipse over a park on Aug. 21, 2017, in Hiawatha, Kansas. Millions o...

FILE: The sun is seen in full eclipse over a park on Aug. 21, 2017, in Hiawatha, Kansas. Millions of people have flocked to areas of the U.S. that are in the "path of totality" in order to experience a total solar eclipse. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The 2023 annular solar eclipse gave thousands of Utahns a chance to see its “ring of fire,” but 2024’s total solar eclipse will require some travel to get the full experience.

When is the eclipse?

This year’s total solar eclipse takes place on Monday, April 8. Parts of Mexico’s Pacific coast will experience totality just after noon MT, with several U.S. cities experiencing the eclipse until it moves offshore in Newfoundland, Canada, at 1:46 p.m. MT.

The peak spectacle on April 8 will last up to 4 minutes, 28 seconds in the path of total darkness — twice as long as the total solar eclipse that dimmed U.S. skies in 2017.

Where can I see the 2024 solar eclipse?

The total solar eclipse path will pass over parts of Mexico, the United States and Canada — but the band of totality will miss Utah. The eclipse’s path curves to the east as it moves north across the continent, with totality visible in several cities, 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 Hamshire
  • Caribou, Maine

All in all, it will hit parts of 13 U.S. states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Utahns will see a partial eclipse, in which the moon appears to take a “bite” out of the sun, which can last between 70 and 80 minutes, NASA says.

The further southeast you are, the better. Mexican Hat will see more than 60% coverage while that number drops toward 50% as you move toward the Wasatch Front. Elko, Nevada, will see closer to just 40% coverage.

  • 11:15 a.m. — partial eclipse begins in St. George
  • 11:20 a.m. — partial eclipse begins over the Wasatch Front
  • 12:20 p.m. — maximum eclipse over most of Utah
  • 1:45 p.m. — partial eclipse ends over eastern Utah

Annular vs. total solar eclipse

October’s eclipse was an annular solar eclipse, which created a “ring of fire” effect across Utah. In an annular eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth while it is at or near its farthest point from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it appears smaller than the sun and does not completely cover the star.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon completely blocks the face of the sun. The sky will darken as if it’s dusk or dawn, and people can see the sun’s corona or outer atmosphere. A total solar eclipse is the only type of solar eclipse where viewers can momentarily remove their eclipse glasses for the brief time when the moon is completely blocking the sun. The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be on Monday.

From left to right, these images show a total solar eclipse, annular solar eclipse, and partial solar eclipse. A hybrid eclipse appears as either a total or an annular eclipse (the left and middle images), depending on the observer’s location. Credits: Total eclipse (left): NASA/MSFC/Joseph Matus; annular eclipse (center): NASA/Bill Dunford; partial eclipse (right): NASA/Bill Ingalls

During a partial eclipse, only a part of the sun will appear to be covered, giving it a crescent shape. This is what Utahns will see on April 8.

Some solar eclipses are hybrid, shifting between total and annular as the moon’s shadow moves across the globe due to the Earth’s curved surface.

Utah also saw an annular eclipse when one swept across I-15 just a few miles south of Cedar City in 2012. The last total eclipse was the “Great American Eclipse” of 2017.

How to safely view the 2024 solar eclipse

Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. In Utah, there will be no point where looking at the sun is safe without proper eye protection.

“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,” NASA said.

Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark they are, are not safe for viewing the sun. To view the eclipse, you will need safe solar viewers that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard.

“Do NOT look at the sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury,” NASA added.

If you don’t have eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can use an indirect viewing method.

Stormy skies?

Clouds and storms could hinder the ability to see the eclipse in its full glory in several spots along the path of totality — where the moon will completely block out the sun.

Severe storms may pose a threat to solar eclipse viewers

Future eclipses

There are usually two solar eclipses worldwide each year, but up to five are possible (this won’t happen again until 2206). However, many take place in remote parts of the Earth.

North America won’t experience totality again until 2033, with Alaska getting sole dibs. Then that’s it until 2044, when totality will be confined to Western Canada, Montana and North Dakota.

The path of the 2024 total solar eclipse. (Michael Zeiler, GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

Utah will also see partial eclipses in January 2028, January 2029, March 2033, June 2039 and April 2043.

An August 2044 partial eclipse will near totality, but the big ticket will be the Aug. 12, 2045, total solar eclipse.

It will pass over the Beehive State, giving millions of Utahns a perfect view of the eclipse from North Salt Lake to Richfield and beyond.

“The totality will go all the way down to Arches National Park,” Seth Jarvis, director of Clark Planetarium, told the Deseret News. “So totality is going to be amazing in Utah, Aug. 12, 2045.”

(NationalEclipse.com)

KSL 5 TV Live

Science & Technology

Madison Police Department Mid Town District Capt. Jason Freedman and Det. Lindsey Ludden talk with ...

Associated Press

Bones found in 1989 in chimney identified as man who last contacted relatives in 1970

Authorities say human bones found inside the chimney of a Wisconsin music store in 1989 have been identified as those of a man whose last known contact with relatives was in 1970.

15 hours ago

Visitors look at the skeleton of a gigantic Triceratops over 66 million years old, named "Big John,...

Katie Hunt, CNN

Mystery of warm-blooded dinosaurs could be unraveled by new study

Were dinosaurs warm-blooded like birds and mammals or cold-blooded like reptiles? It’s one of paleontology’s oldest questions. Here's what new research found.

3 days ago

A box full of donated eclipse glasses being inspected by Boy Scouts to help a local business owner ...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah eclipse glasses program calls for volunteers after overwhelming donation response

A Provo eclipse glasses donation program is asking for help to sort through hundreds of thousands of glasses people have been sending in from all over the country.

7 days ago

This image provided by NASA shows a solar flare, as seen in the bright flash in the lower right,  c...

Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

Strong solar storm could disrupt communications and produce northern lights in US

An unusually strong solar storm headed toward Earth could produce northern lights in the U.S. and potentially disrupt power and communications this weekend.

8 days ago

School's are implementing AI to help with school safety. Hunter High School requires students walk ...

Shelby Lofton

KSL Investigates: Utah schools put AI safety technology to the test

From the Capitol to the classroom, Utahns see a need for enhanced school security. AI might be the solution.

8 days ago

FILE: In this photo illustration, a mobile phone featuring the TikTok app is displayed next to the ...

Haleluya Hadero, AP Business Writer

TikTok sues US to block law that could ban the social media platform

TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance are suing the U.S. federal government over a law that would ban the popular video-sharing app unless it’s sold to another company.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utahns prepare for partial eclipse while millions hope for clear skies to see total solar eclipse