Total Solar Eclipse 2024: Where, When, How To Watch

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Millions of people across North America will get the chance to experience a very special natural event on Monday when a total solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

The total eclipse – which occurs when the moon completely blocks out the sun – will darken skies for a few minutes “as if it were dawn or dusk”, the US’s NASA space agency explains.

It will be visible from a 185km-wide (115 mile-wide) band that stretches from the western coast of Mexico, through the US, and up to Canada’s easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador – what’s known as the “path of totality”.

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“Weather permitting, people along the path of totality will see the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the sun,” NASA says on its website.

The path of totality is really “where it’s at” on Monday, said Anthony Aveni, professor emeritus at Colgate University in New York and author of the book, In the Shadow of the Moon: The Science, Magic, and Mystery of Solar Eclipses.

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“It’s that precious three minutes or so … of totality when you see a whole range of phenomena that you just don’t see in everyday life,” he told Al Jazeera. “It takes your breath away and you stop what you’re doing and gawk at nature.”

So how often do total solar eclipses occur? How long does it typically last? Where and how can you watch safely? Here’s everything you need to know.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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