Solar Eclipse 2024: What You Need to Know

Did you know? The next full solar eclipse viewable from the contiguous United States won’t happen until 2044!

Don’t miss the one coming Monday, April 8. While North Carolina is not in the zone of totality — meaning the Moon won’t completely cover the Sun from our perspective — we can expect about 80% coverage. Exact times vary based on your location, but the eclipse will begin around 2 p.m., peak around 3:15, and end about 4:30.

Here’s what you need to know to view the eclipse safely:

The Sun is (give or take) 3,820,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times brighter than a 100-watt lightbulb, so looking at the eclipse directly (or through sunglasses, a camera, telescope, etc.) will cause instant eye damage. Keep your vision safe with ISO-certified eclipse glasses.

If you can’t find any glasses, or for a fun science experiment, visit the NASA website for information on making an eclipse projector.

Some Triangle-area facilities will host eclipse events. While many have filled up, others have remaining openings or open-to-all outdoor programs.

Though the museum itself will be closed, Durham’s Museum of Life and Science will host a Monarch Butterfly Eclipse program outside from 2 to 5 p.m. The path of the eclipse is strikingly similar to the migration route of monarch butterflies, and the program aims to support conservation efforts for the species while enjoying the eclipse. Free treats from Jeni’s Ice Creams will be available while supplies last.

In Chapel Hill, the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will host an Eclipse Party with free and paid options. The outdoor party, which is free and open to the public, will have telescopes and sunspotters, hands-on activities, eclipse glasses for sale at a gift shop table, and more. Timed ticketed slots for entry to the planetarium cost $10 and include a livestream of the eclipse from a zone of totality, a look at real meteorites, and a 30-minute presentation on solar eclipses.

Slots are still available for The Great American Eclipse Viewing Party at the Wake Forest Community Library, which offers one free pair of viewing glasses per family with a reservation.

Preregistration is full for the viewing party at the Holly Springs Community Library, but you can stop by to make eclipse art and galaxy slime.

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