It’s coming….the day will go dark during the Total Solar Eclipse 2024 across North America – and Ohio is in the path of totality!
We know it sounds early to make plans for this, but if you intend to travel or book rooms along the path of totality, you need to make plans sooner than later!
2024 Total Solar Eclipse in Ohio
On the afternoon of Monday, April 8, 2024, the moon will cover the sun during the Total Solar Eclipse. Depending on where you’re at in Ohio, you’ll experience a total or partial solar eclipse. Most of Columbus is just outside the path of totality – meaning we won’t see a total solar eclipse unless you’re in the northwest portion of Columbus near Dublin/Delaware.
At 3:08 p.m. EST, totality will enter Ohio in the southeast and travel northeast across the state for 11 minutes, though the partial phases of the eclipse will span over 2 hours.
Day will look like night, and the sun’s outer atmosphere – the corona – will be visible along with bright stars and planets. The corona (a ring of hot gas around the sun’s perimeter) is not typically visible to the naked eye due to the brightness of the sun.
The more centered you are in the path of totality, the longer the total eclipse will last. Dayton, Springfield, Lima, Sandusky, and Cleveland will experience totality for over 3 minutes. The center line of totality gives you the longest span in the lunar shadow’s full width. Dublin is expected to see approximately 1 minute, 23 seconds of totality.
It’s also fair to note that even if the eclipse is guaranteed, Ohio weather in April is not. So while we experienced a bright sunny day in August 2017, it may be harder to see the “diamond rings”, stars, and phases of eclipse if there is heavy cloud cover in April.
2023 Annular Solar Eclipse October
Before we get into the details of main course 2024 Eclipse, let’s talk about the appetizer 2023 annular solar eclipse that will be visible in parts of western North America from Oregon to Texas on October 14, 2023.
During an annular solar eclipse, the apparent size of the Moon’s disk is slightly smaller than the apparent size of the Sun’s disk. As a result, the outer edge of the Sun will be visible as a “ring of fire”, and it is not considered a total eclipse.
In Ohio, we’ll only see 30%-40% obscuration of the sun (60-70% visible), so it’s just an appetizer for the total solar eclipse we can expect in 2024. If you are planning to travel to the path of totality, MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW!
Read more about the 2023 annual eclipse here.
Note: Since this is not a total eclipse, it is NEVER safe to look at the sun without eclipse glasses, no matter where you are located. Scroll down for the eclipse safety section.
Back to the main dish…
Plan ahead for 2024 Solar Eclipse in Ohio
One thing we learned after the solar eclipse in August 2017 is to PLAN AHEAD! If you miss this one, the next total solar eclipses to hit the US are in 2044 and 2045 – neither of which will be near Ohio.
After Monday, April 8, 2024, the next total eclipse in Ohio will be September 14, 2099 – with Columbus in the path of totality.
Traveling to path of totality
Cities that are in the path of totality are planning ahead because they can expect a massive influx of visitors on the days preceding the eclipse. The closer to the center line, the more desirable the location.
For that reason, you will want to have a plan for that day. If you can, plan to get there the day before or as early as you can on the day of the solar eclipse.
Traffic towards the path of totality is expected to be extremely heavy the day of the eclipse, so you’ll want to give yourself as much time as possible to arrive in time.
If you want to arrive before the day of the eclipse and will need a place to stay, you’ll want to book a hotel, house, or campground as far in advance as possible. Some lodgings only allow reservations 1 year in advance, but it’s worth checking NOW to see what the policies are for this special celestial event.
If you have friends or family in the area of totality, check with them now to see if you can visit!
Solar Eclipse Safety
Whether you are in the area to see the total eclipse, or plan to step outside to see the partial, it’s NEVER safe to look at the sun except during the full total eclipse stage.
If you aren’t in the path of totality, it’s never safe to look during the eclipse, and you’ll risk permanent eye damage.
Safety and Eclipse Viewing Glasses
You’ll need a solar filter to view the partial eclipse stage. Check out the NASA page for eclipse viewing techniques and safety so you can be prepared. As we get closer to the date of the eclipse, glasses will sell out! Look for ones that are compliant with transmission requirements of the ISO 12312-2 safety standard.
And whether you’re staying put for a less-than-total eclipse, or are heading towards totality, you’re going to need eclipse viewing glasses. If you still have some from 2017, find them now. If you need them, get them ASAP, as they can be really hard to get your hands on as the day gets closer.
You can find Solar eclipse glasses and other memorabilia on Amazon.
Many organized watch parties will have some available, or you can make a pinhole viewer to safely see the eclipse. Regular sunglasses WILL NOT provide sufficient protection!
Read more about the eclipse at GreatAmericanEclipse.com.
Events, Festivals, and Viewing Parties
The115 mile wide total solar eclipse will travel through Mexico before progressing through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Vermont, and Maine.
Due to the rarity and excitement surrounding this natural phenomenon, there will be eclipse tours, community festivals, and other travel opportunities for the 2024 solar eclipse across America.
We’ll add and link to events as they are announced for 2024.
For more information, activities, events, and resources, check out the NASA website.
photo credit: GreatAmericanEclipse.com
Looking for more solar eclipse information? Check out Solar Eclipse Viewing Parties around Columbus (most of these will provide free solar eclipse glasses). This will be updated in 2023/2024.
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