Get us in your inbox

Solar eclipse tips
Photograph: Shutterstock

A total eclipse of the sun is coming next year

Mark your calendars for the best four minutes of your life!

Erika Mailman
Written by
Erika Mailman

It’s never too early to start planning for next year’s total solar eclipse. Clear your calendar, especially if you live in the major U.S. cities that will be able to take a serene moonbath for four minutes or more, as reported by Washington Post’s helpful Postclimate account on Instagram. It will be epic to be totally in the path of totality! Let’s get some Q&A going to wrestle these facts into shape.

Which cities will be best to view this, please?

You are already perusing Google Flights, aren’t you? They include Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Little Rock, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo and Rochester.

What day are we talking about?

Monday, April 8, 2024.

Wait, so that’s next year, not this year?

Right. We’re just trying to get you ready. But of course, there are lots of great sky things happening this year.

Remind me again. The eclipse does what?

Day turns to night, and zombies walk the earth! Okay, the first part is true.

But really, what happens during a total eclipse?

A: The moon will completely block the sun. The day will definitely seem like night. We will think with more compassion for the people of Iceland.

What is this path of totality?

The narrow “belt” of land where the eclipse is the most eclipse-like: those cities we mentioned above.

Is there a cool name for people who will travel to the path of totality?

Yes. They are called astrotourists. You can be one too.

Is there a place that is actually the eclipse capital of the US?

It’s Carbondale, Illinois.

When was the last such solar eclipse?

August 2017

So anywhere in the path of totality is good?

Clever astrotourists try to outsmart the weather, aware that clear skies are more typically found in the southern and western parts, like Texas.

Weren’t you trying to tell us earlier about the annular eclipse this year, and some kind of map from NASA?

Oh, so you were listening. Here’s a refresher.

Does that map show the path, or belt, for this year’s annual eclipse and next year’s total eclipse?


You’ll be there, right?

With our solar viewing glasses on to protect our eyes until darkness has descended, yes. We know how to party.

You may also like
You may also like