What is a total solar eclipse?
For a total solar eclipse to take place, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. Weather permitting, people located in the center of the Moon’s shadow when it hits Earth will experience a total eclipse. The sky will become very dark for a few minutes, as if it were night. Normally, when looking at the Sun, you can only see the photosphere, the bright surface. However, extending about 5,000 km above the photosphere is the region of the solar atmosphere called the chromosphere. It is only seen during total solar eclipses, or with sophisticated telescopes, and its red and pinkish color gives the blackened Moon a thin halo of color against the greyish corona. People in the path of a total solar eclipse can also see the Sun’s corona, the outer atmosphere, which is otherwise usually obscured by the bright face of the Sun.
A total solar eclipse is the only type of solar eclipse where viewers can briefly remove their eclipse glasses, during the few moments when the Moon is completely blocking the Sun.Where will it happen?
Where will it happen?
The total solar eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean. Weather permitting, the first location in continental North America that will experience totality is Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT. The path of the eclipse continues from Mexico, entering the United States in Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The eclipse will enter Canada in Southern Ontario, and continue through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton. The eclipse will exit continental North America on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at 5:16 p.m. NDT.
When will it happen?
This table provides the time that totality begins in a city in each state in the path of totality. These areas will also experience a partial eclipse before and after these times.
|Location||Partial Begins||Totality Begins||Maximum||Totality Ends||Partial Ends|
|Dallas, Texas||12:23 p.m. CDT||1:40 p.m. CDT||1:42 p.m. CDT||1:44 p.m. CDT||3:02 p.m. CDT|
|Idabel, Oklahoma||12:28 p.m. CDT||1:45 p.m. CDT||1:47 p.m. MDT||10:49 p.m. MDT||3:06 p.m. CDT|
|Little Rock, Arkansas||12:33 p.m. CDT||1:51 p.m. CDT||1:52 p.m. CDT||1:54 p.m. CDT||3:11 p.m. CDT|
|Poplar Bluff, Missouri||12:39 p.m. CDT||1:56 p.m. CDT||1:56 p.m. CDT||2:00 p.m. CDT||3:15 p.m. CDT|
|Paducah, Kentucky||12:42 p.m. CDT||2:00 p.m. CDT||2:01 p.m. CDT||2:02 p.m. CDT||3:18 p.m. CDT|
|Evansville, Indiana||12:45 p.m. CDT||2:02 p.m. CDT||2:04 p.m. CDT||2:05 p.m. CDT||3:20 p.m. CDT|
|Cleveland, Ohio||1:59 p.m. EDT||3:13 p.m. EDT||3:15 p.m. EDT||3:17 p.m. EDT||4:29 p.m. EDT|
|Erie, Pennsylvania||2:02 p.m. EDT||3:16 p.m. EDT||3:18 p.m. EDT||3:20 p.m. EDT||4:30 p.m. EDT|
|Buffalo, New York||2:04 p.m. EDT||3:18 p.m. EDT||3:20 p.m. EDT||3:22 p.m. EDT||4:32 p.m. EDT|
|Burlington, Vermont||2:14 p.m. EDT||3:26 p.m. EDT||3:27 p.m. EDT||3:29 p.m. EDT||4:37 p.m. EDT|
|Lancaster, New Hampshire||2:16 p.m. EDT||3:27 p.m. EDT||3:29 p.m. EDT||3:30 p.m. EDT||4:38 p.m. EDT|
|Caribou, Maine||2:22 p.m. EDT||3:32 p.m. EDT||3:33 p.m. EDT||3:34 p.m. EDT||4:40 p.m. EDT|
How can I watch?
It is never safe to look directly at the Sun – even if the Sun is partly obscured. When watching a partial solar eclipse, you must wear eclipse glasses at all times if you want to face the Sun. This also applies during a total solar eclipse leading up to and after totality, when the Moon is completely blocking the Sun. During the short period of totality, it is safe to look directly at the Sun, but it's crucial that you know when to take off and put back on your eclipse glasses. For more information, please visit our eclipse safety page.
Please note that eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing the Sun.
If you don’t have solar viewing or eclipse glasses, you can use an alternate indirect method, such as a pinhole projector.