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Home SCIENCE 5 total mistakes to avoid at the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse | by Ethan Siegel | Starts With A Bang! | Apr, 2024

5 total mistakes to avoid at the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse | by Ethan Siegel | Starts With A Bang! | Apr, 2024

by California Digital News

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This image, of the Sun’s inner corona and prominences on the Sun, was taken during the April 20, 2023 total solar eclipse. Exquisite views of what’s occurring just off of the Sun’s disk are best captured during a total solar eclipse. (Credit: Phil Hart)

There are only a precious few minutes of totality during even the best solar eclipses. Don’t waste yours making these avoidable mistakes.

On April 8, 2024, millions of North Americans will enjoy a spectacular total solar eclipse.

The path of totality of the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse cuts from southwest Mexico up through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Canada. Everyone along the center-line of the eclipse in 2024 also experienced at least a partial eclipse on October 14, 2023, and a penumbral lunar eclipse on March 25, 2024. (Credit: Great American Eclipse, LLC)

For up to 4 minutes and 30 seconds, the Moon’s shadow will bring darkness to the daytime.

This photograph from the International Space Station shows the shadow of the Moon falling on the Earth during a total solar eclipse. Although the Moon’s shadow passes rapidly over the surface of the Earth, the International Space Station moves more than twice as rapidly. (Credit: International Space Station/Reuters)

Avoid these five common mistakes to make the most of your experience.

This photograph, taken during the 2017 total solar eclipse, shows the Sun being eclipsed by the Moon during totality. Note how, although the sky is darkened closest to the Sun, the horizon is still illuminated by direct sunlight. The closer you are to the center-line of totality and the longer the duration of the eclipse, the darker the overall sky becomes, allowing observers to see fainter, dimmer objects. You will miss details such as this if you spend all of totality’s time attempting to photograph the eclipse. (Credit: Joe Sexton/Jesse Angle)

1.) Don’t spend much time worrying about photography.

This photograph of the eclipsed Sun during totality shows the asymmetric corona and the last remnant of a tiny bit of sunlight poking through a crater on the Moon: one of Baily’s beads. (Credit: Ricardo Garza-Grande)

Totality is brief, and eclipse photography is very finicky.

The solar corona, as shown here, is imaged out to 25 solar radii during the 2006 total solar eclipse. The longer the duration of a total solar eclipse, the darker the sky becomes and the better the corona and background astronomical objects can be seen. Experienced, serious eclipse photographers can construct images such as these from their eclipse data. (Credit: Martin Antoš, Hana Druckmüllerová, Miloslav Druckmüller)

Professional eclipse photographers will produce outstanding photographs, but every individual can enjoy a first-person experience.

Although your unaided eye may be of use in spying details in the solar corona, only long-exposure eclipse photography, done at a professional level, can bring out details such as those exposed here in the inner corona during the 2009 solar eclipse. (Credit: Miloslav Druckmüller, Peter Aniol)

2.) Don’t leave your eclipse glasses on during totality.

Either eclipse glasses, solar filters, or welder’s shades (that are at least shade 14 or darker) are all tools that humans can leverage to view the Sun directly during a partial or annular solar eclipse, or even during no eclipse at all. During totality, however, you must remove them, or you won’t see anything at all. (Credit: GPA Photo Archive)

Once the Sun goes completely dark through your eclipse glasses, remove them.

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