The 2024 Total Solar Eclipse will begin with what’s called the partial stage, when the moon has not yet fully covered the sun, giving the giant star a crescent shape. This can last between 70 and 80 minutes in most places. About a minute before totality, which will occur at approximately 1:50 pm DST, moving, wavy lines of alternating light and dark can be seen on the ground and along walls. These shadow bands result from Earth’s turbulent atmosphere refracting the last rays of sunlight. About 10 to 15 seconds before totality, the solar corona (the Sun’s outer atmosphere) becomes visible. Together with the single jewel of light from the Sun, it creates the well-known “Diamond Ring” effect. As the diamond ring fades, the outermost part of the Sun’s atmosphere (Sun’s Corona) becomes more prominent. It is visible as a faint ring of rays surrounding the silhouetted Moon. About five seconds before totality, “Baily’s Beads” appear. They are little bead-like blobs of light at the edge of the Moon created by the sunlight passing through gaps in the mountains and valleys on the Moon’s surface. That’s when the moment finally comes – the sky is dark, and the sun appears like a glowing black orb. Those of us in Hot Springs Village will have totality for 3 minutes and 54 seconds. These events then repeat in reverse order.
The eclipse of October 14, 2023, was an annular eclipse, which, like the coming total eclipse, occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth and casts its shadow on Earth. The difference is that in October, the Moon was at its farthest distance from the Earth (252,088 miles), making it appear smaller and thus unable to block out the Sun fully. When the Moon was centered over the Sun, it created a “Ring of Fire” effect for those in the path of the shadow. In the coming eclipse, the moon will block out the Sun in totality since it will be closer to the Earth.
The path of the shadow of the Moon will be 117 miles wide and will make its way to the Northeast at 1,564 mph, clearing the state of Maine at approximately 4:35 PM ADT.
Start of partial eclipse 12:32:19
Start of total eclipse 1:49:33
Maximum eclipse 1:51:34
End of total eclipse 1:53:32
End of partial eclipse 3:10:24
However you choose to observe the eclipse, keep in mind that in no circumstances should you look at the sun without proper protection for your eyes. You can easily injure your eyes in a very short time. Only during totality is it safe to look at the sun without solar glasses. Also, do not point your camera or telescope at the sun without a proper solar filter, as it can severely damage both as well.
Let’s all hope for clear skies and good viewing!!
The HSV Camera Club and Village Stargazers will continue to post information articles on the solar eclipse. Next week, we will cover what to expect during totality.
- TimeandDate.com What Is a Total Solar Eclipse? By Vigdis Hocken, Aparna Kher,
and Graham Jones
By HSV Camera Club and Village Stargazers
Click here to read “What is a Solar Eclipse?”
Click here to visit the HSV Camera Club website.
Click here to visit the Hot Springs Village Stargazers Facebook Page.
Click here to visit the official Hot Springs Village POA Facebook Page.