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The Solar Eclipse Is Only A Week Away! Here’s An Updated Forecast On Viewing Conditions

solar eclipse

Next week millions will look to the skies to view a rare total solar eclipse, but large portions of the U.S. may have to miss out on the event due to cloudy conditions.

The dazzling celestial event will take place on April 8, and about 31.6 million people live in the path of totality, which extends through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, according to NASA. People in parts of Tennessee and Michigan will also be able to see the show. The rest of the United States should be able to watch a partial solar eclipse.

However, early forecasts are showing cloudy conditions across much of the path during peak viewing hours. The NOAA believes the northeast U.S. has the best chance of clear views. MRP News has a more detailed forecast on its website.

If You’re Watching The Total Solar Eclipse, Don’t Forget To Wear Proper Eye Gear!

As we all know, forecasts frequently change, though. So don’t lose hope of watching the solar eclipse! To see if you live in the viewing path and to check peak times, you can use NASA’s interactive map here.

Monday’s show will be the first total solar eclipse since 2017, and it’s projected to last up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds, which is longer than most eclipses that have happened in our lifetimes. While partial solar eclipses are somewhat more frequent, total solar eclipses are rare, and if you miss next week’s event, you’ll have to wait over 20 years to see another.

For everyone planning to watch, remember to wear proper eye wear—normal sunglasses will not do. Eclipse glasses filter between 0.001% and 0.00005% of visible light, writes the American Astronomical Society. That means they can be over 1,000 times darker than your typical sunglasses. And glancing at an eclipse without protective eye gear can cause permanent damage.

See a list of approved solar eclipse eyewhere here.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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