April 8 Solar Eclipse: Path, Maps and More

On April 8, the moon will slip between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow across a swath of North America: a total solar eclipse.

By cosmic coincidence, the moon and the sun appear roughly the same size in the sky. When the moon blocks the glare of the sun, the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, will be briefly visible.

Below are several maps of the eclipse’s path as well as images of what you might experience during the event.

Where Can I See the Total Eclipse?

The eclipse will begin at sunrise over the Pacific Ocean, then cut through Mexico and cross the United States from Texas to Maine. Most of North America will see a partial eclipse, but viewers within the deepest shadow — a band sliding from Mazatlán, Mexico, to the Newfoundland coast near Gander, Canada — will experience a total solar eclipse.

Viewers inside the path of the total eclipse may notice a drop in temperature, a lull or shift in the wind, the appearance of bright planets in the sky, and the quieting of birds and other wildlife.

Many cities lie inside the path of the total eclipse, as shown below, the width of which varies from 108 miles to 122 miles.

Explore our interactive cloud outlook for eclipse viewing times and average cloud data at your location.

What Will I See?

A composite image of the 2017 solar eclipse over Madras, Ore.

Aubrey Gemignani/NASA

If the sky is clear, viewers in the path of the total eclipse should see a “diamond ring” effect a few seconds before and after the total eclipse, as the edge of the sun slips in and out of view.

The “diamond ring” effect during the 2017 solar eclipse.

Rami Daud/NASA, Alcyon Technical Services

The sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, is normally hidden by the sun’s glare. These tendrils and sheets of gas, heated to a million degrees Fahrenheit or more, are in constant motion and shaped by the sun’s swirling magnetic field.

The sun’s corona during the 2017 solar eclipse.

Aubrey Gemignani/NASA

The sun is relatively active this year and is nearing the expected peak of its 11-year solar cycle. Researchers at Predictive Science are using data about the sun’s magnetic field to predict and model a dramatic corona for the April eclipse.

A prediction of how the sun’s corona might appear during the April 8 total eclipse.

Predictive Science

What Colors Should I Wear?

As the sky darkens, light-sensitive cells in human eyes become more sensitive to blue and green hues than to reds and oranges. This shift in color perception is known as the Purkinje effect, after a 19th-century Czech scientist, and is typically seen at twilight.

Watching the 2017 total eclipse at Southern Illinois University.

Andrea Morales for The New York Times

To take advantage of the Purkinje effect, wear green clothes or a contrasting combination of greens and reds. Blue-green colors (shorter wavelengths) will appear brighter, while red colors (longer wavelengths) will appear to recede into the darkness.

What If I Miss It?

The next two total solar eclipses in the United States won’t occur until 2044 and 2045. But eclipse chasers might catch one in 2026 in Greenland, Iceland and Spain; 2027 along the coast of Northern Africa; 2028 in Australia and New Zealand; or 2030 across Southern Africa and Australia.

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