Eclipse 2024

Totality will go by so fast today. Here’s a checklist of what to look at

The total phase of the eclipse only lasts a few minutes or so, but there’s a lot to see and experience

It will take only a few minutes, and before you know it, the long-awaited 2024 Total Solar Eclipse will be done.

Only those in the Path of Totality will cash in their winning celestial lottery ticket.

Here’s what to do to get the best from Totality, from a minute or so beforehand to the return of the Sun:

1 – The last slithers of the Crescent Sun disappearing. Get ready!

2 – Remove your solar eclipse glasses and do a 360-degree turn to look at the sky. Notice how the colors are changing.

3 – Notice how the light is fading in the most surreal way. It will look like Armageddon is upon you! Is it getting colder?

4 – Cheers and gasps from others around you mean totality is here, and it’s safe to look at the Sun’s shimmering white solar corona. Whoa!

5 – The corona is captivating, but quickly look to the right for bright planet Venus, and far left for Jupiter.

6 – Back to the corona. Look for red plumes of plasma visible on the side of the Moon. Notice how quiet the crowd is (if you’re in one).

7—Now is the time to take a souvenir wide-angle photo on your phone. Hopefully, you disabled your flash beforehand. Put your phone away.

8 – Do another quick 360-degree turn to look at the changing colors.

9 – If you have them, hold-up binoculars to the Sun & Moon. Can you make-out any detail on the Moon’s surface? That’s Earthshine, reflected light from our planet.

10 – Study the corona.

11 – Tiny beads of light will appear on the left-hand side of the Moon and BAM! A beautiful Diamond Ring appears in a burst of Sunlight. It’s time to look away.

12 – Before you hug someone, cry, drink or drive off, put your solar eclipse glasses back on briefly, and check-out that tiny slither of a crescent Sun.

You will then have two questions:

1 – Did that really happen?

2 – When is the next eclipse?

Photo credit: Dennis di Cicco / Sky & Telescope

When Is the next eclipse 2026-2034 book cover