US Total Solar Eclipse 2024: What Is So Special About It?

Outlook International Desk

Pacific Ocean to Atlantic Ocean

The total eclipse begins in the Pacific Ocean and ends in the Atlantic. The outer shadow, called the penumbra, is a partial eclipse. The eclipse starts at 12:39 p.m. Eastern Time and lasts for three hours and 16 minutes before ending in the Atlantic Ocean. The eclipse enters the U.S. at the Mexican border and ends at Houlton, Maine.

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Where to see the longest Totality

Mexico will experience the longest totality during the eclipse, lasting four minutes and 28 seconds on a 350-mile swath near the centerline. In the U.S., some areas will experience similar total eclipses, with most along the centerline lasting between three and a half minutes and four minutes.

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What will solar eclipse reveal

Solar eclipses reveal the sun's corona, the outermost atmosphere, which is typically invisible to humans due to the sun's brightness. The corona is hotter than the sun's surface.

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Spotting Planets and Comets during Totality

Venus and Jupiter will be visible before totality, with Venus shining over five times brighter than Jupiter. Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, about six degrees to the right of Jupiter, may also be visible, with its distinctive circular cloud of gas and long tail.

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360-degree sunset

NASA reports a "360-degree sunset" during the 2024 solar eclipse, caused by sun light outside the totality path, lasting as long as totality.

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Animal behavior during  the eclipse

In the 2017 eclipse, flying creatures retreated to the ground or perches 50 minutes before totality, a natural response to storms or weather conditions. However, just before totality, they suddenly took flight and re-established their perches.

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