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The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

One Week Before Historic Total Solar Eclipse

Total+Eclipse+of+the+Sun.+Original+public+domain+image+from+Flickr
rawpixel.com / U.S. Forest Servi
Total Eclipse of the Sun. Original public domain image from Flickr

In about one week from today, the sun will be completely blocked out by the moon in a historic and rare total solar eclipse. 

What Is a Total Solar Eclipse

A total solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun either partially or totally. This reveals the sun’s outer atmosphere known as the Corona.

According to NASA, on average some form of a solar eclipse event occurs 2.38 times per year, but can happen up to 5 times in a given year. 

However, the vast majority of these occurrences are only visible in certain geographical locations and are only partial eclipses. 

Total solar eclipses are even rarer, which tend to be once in a lifetime events for most people, however some given locations can occur a few years apart. This is what happened in August 2017, where it was best viewed from Oregon to South Carolina.

An estimated 88% of Americans viewed the eclipse in person or electronically in 2017. 

What Makes This Eclipse So Special?

The path of visibility from this eclipse is much greater than the one viewed in 2017, with a path of 108 to 122 miles in width whereas the 2017 path had a width of 62 to 71 miles.

Also unlike the 2017 eclipse, the 2024 total solar eclipse will have a path that covers a more densely populated area covering cities like Austin, Cleveland, Dallas, Fort Worth, Detroit, Little Rock, Buffalo, Indianapolis, and even parts of New England.

The northern parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine will have the best views of the region with the path of totality notably traveling through Montpelier VT, Burlington VT, Stowe VT, Lancaster NH, Caribou ME, and Houlton ME. 

These areas will have about 3 minutes and 20 seconds of total visibility of the eclipse.

Contrary to popular belief, travel is not necessary to still enjoy a total solar eclipse, especially not this one, as according to NASA, 99% of Americans living in the nation will be able to experience the eclipse in person. 

According to NASA, The Springfield-Palmer area will have approximately 93.4% coverage and be best seen around 3:27pm, still making it one of the prime regions in the nation to view the eclipse. 

How Can I View the Eclipse? 

To safely view the eclipse ensure you wear special solar filter glasses, wearing normal sunglasses will not protect your vision. Otherwise you can cause what is called Eclipse Blindness which is also known as retinal burns or solar retinopathy which can result in temporary or permanent impairments to your vision. 

If you have your special filter glasses or if you choose to watch a livestream electronically, enjoy the once in a lifetime experience. 

 

Links That Show How Much of The Eclipse You Can See

https://science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2024/where-when/

https://www.wwlp.com/eclipse-2024/massachusetts-eclipse-map-which-cities-will-have-the-best-view/

Eclipse Livestream

https://science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2024/live/

Citations and Links for Further Reading 

https://science.nasa.gov/solar-system/skywatching/how-is-the-2024-total-solar-eclipse-different-than-the-2017-eclipse/

https://www.schoolhealthny.com/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=169&ViewID=7b97f7ed-8e5e-4120-848f-a8b4987d588f&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=8863&PageID=1#:~:text=Exposing%20your%20eyes%20to%20the,you%20see%20to%20the%20brain.

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About the Contributor
Jacob Moquin, Opinion Editor
Jacob Moquin is a part of the Class of 2024 at Ludlow High School. This is his first year as a writer for the Cub. He is also a part of Leading Lions and LHS cares, and was the former Vice President of the French Club. Outside of school and sleeping he enjoys partaking in painting and looking through his telescope on a clear night. After graduating, Jacob plans on pursuing a doctorate in veterinary medicine and aspires to have a practice of his own. However for the time being he plans on sharing his many opinions for readers to enjoy.

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