Students in Wylie, Texas watched the eclipse.
Students in Wylie, Texas watched the eclipse.

The Great North American Eclipse

Millions watch the 2024 total solar eclipse in North America.

As seen from Earth, the Sun is about 400 times farther away than the Moon. But the Sun is also about 400 times larger than the Moon. So, the two objects seem to be the same size in the sky. Every year or two, the Moon blocks the Sun for one part of the planet. This rare event is called a total solar eclipse. It happened on Monday, April 8, in parts of North America!

This eclipse first became in Mazatlán, Mexico, at 2:07 P.M. EST. Throughout the afternoon, millions of people in Canada, Mexico, and the United States watched as the Moon moved.

In some places, the Moon covered the entire disc of the Sun. That made a total solar eclipse! Those places were in the path of . In other spots, the Moon only covered part of the Sun. That formed a partial eclipse. To view the partial eclipse, people wore special glasses. The eclipse glasses protected their eyes from the Sun.

Writers for News-O-Matic tracked the eclipse across the United States. In Texas, Ashley Morgan spotted the event first. She shared, “On the morning of the eclipse, I hit the road with my dad and his dog. We drove for three hours to reach the path of totality in Irene, Texas. The area had nothing but a small cemetery, big fields, and us.”

Morgan added, “It was a cloudy day across Texas, but the skies cleared for us. I watched as the Moon seemed to take bites out of the Sun. It got colder, darker, quieter, and snap. The Sun was hidden. I was surprised at how quickly it all happened. One second was a warm Texas day. The next, the cemetery was dark and silent. It was a spooky (and special) solar eclipse!”

I got to the eclipse in Indianapolis, Indiana, too. (I’m the reporter for this story.) I watched with my family in the front yard of the house. The Sun was hot as we stared up in our glasses. The birds around us got quieter and quieter as totality neared. It started to get darker — lights on the outside of houses started to turn on. The temperature dropped. Suddenly, we were cold! Then, the Moon blocked the Sun and everyone gasped. I was surprised at how it felt. No one wanted it to end!

News-O-Matic’s Editor-in-Chief Russell Kahn was the last News-O-Matic writer to watch the eclipse. He traveled to Lake Conesus, New York, for the event. “We were on a quiet lakeside in the western Finger Lakes of New York State,” he said. “It was cloudy, so we never saw any of the Sun (or its corona). Didn’t need our eclipse glasses, sadly, but the darkness settled on the lake, and it was magnificent. I feel like I’m vibrating from the experience.”

This was the only total solar eclipse of 2024. The next one is on August 12, 2026. It will be visible in Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Spain, and Portugal. The next total solar eclipse visible in North America will be on March 30, 2033.

Updated April 8, 2024, 5:02 P.M. (ET)
By Hannah Marcum

The Great North American Eclipse

Millions watch the 2024 total solar eclipse in North America.

Students in Wylie, Texas watched the eclipse.
Students in Wylie, Texas watched the eclipse.

As seen from Earth, the Sun is about 400 times farther away than the Moon. But the Sun is also about 400 times larger than the Moon. So, the two objects seem to be the same size in the sky. Every year or two, the Moon blocks the Sun for one part of the planet. This rare event is called a total solar eclipse. It happened on Monday, April 8, in parts of North America!

This eclipse first became in Mazatlán, Mexico, at 2:07 P.M. EST. Throughout the afternoon, millions of people in Canada, Mexico, and the United States watched as the Moon moved.

In some places, the Moon covered the entire disc of the Sun. That made a total solar eclipse! Those places were in the path of . In other spots, the Moon only covered part of the Sun. That formed a partial eclipse. To view the partial eclipse, people wore special glasses. The eclipse glasses protected their eyes from the Sun.

Writers for News-O-Matic tracked the eclipse across the United States. In Texas, Ashley Morgan spotted the event first. She shared, “On the morning of the eclipse, I hit the road with my dad and his dog. We drove for three hours to reach the path of totality in Irene, Texas. The area had nothing but a small cemetery, big fields, and us.”

Morgan added, “It was a cloudy day across Texas, but the skies cleared for us. I watched as the Moon seemed to take bites out of the Sun. It got colder, darker, quieter, and snap. The Sun was hidden. I was surprised at how quickly it all happened. One second was a warm Texas day. The next, the cemetery was dark and silent. It was a spooky (and special) solar eclipse!”

I got to the eclipse in Indianapolis, Indiana, too. (I’m the reporter for this story.) I watched with my family in the front yard of the house. The Sun was hot as we stared up in our glasses. The birds around us got quieter and quieter as totality neared. It started to get darker — lights on the outside of houses started to turn on. The temperature dropped. Suddenly, we were cold! Then, the Moon blocked the Sun and everyone gasped. I was surprised at how it felt. No one wanted it to end!

News-O-Matic’s Editor-in-Chief Russell Kahn was the last News-O-Matic writer to watch the eclipse. He traveled to Lake Conesus, New York, for the event. “We were on a quiet lakeside in the western Finger Lakes of New York State,” he said. “It was cloudy, so we never saw any of the Sun (or its corona). Didn’t need our eclipse glasses, sadly, but the darkness settled on the lake, and it was magnificent. I feel like I’m vibrating from the experience.”

This was the only total solar eclipse of 2024. The next one is on August 12, 2026. It will be visible in Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Spain, and Portugal. The next total solar eclipse visible in North America will be on March 30, 2033.

Updated April 8, 2024, 5:02 P.M. (ET)
By Hannah Marcum

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