Don’t miss the total solar eclipse coming up in April

A natural phenomenon that looks absolutely out-of-this-world fantastic is quickly approaching – and those who can swing it should make plans not to miss it.

On April 8, a total solar eclipse, which is when the moon completely blocks the visible surface of the sun, will sweep across 15 states, including Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, and Illinois. And those who miss out on this spectacular event might catch a serious case of “Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)” as the next total solar eclipse that can be seen from the contiguous United States will be in 2044.

I’ve been lucky enough to see two total solar eclipses – in Oregon in 2017 and Argentina in 2019 – and trying to describe the wonder of it is impossible. “The dramatic sight of the sun’s corona in the suddenly darkened sky is a spectacular experience,” states the website greatamericaneclipse.com.

One of my favorite experiences is being on a llama farm in South America with hundreds of other travelers from all over the world, and hearing the gasps and sounds of pure shock as we all removed our eclipse glasses at the same time to stare straight at the sun, a giant black hole in the sky with tendrils of light pulsating all around it.

Trying to describe viewing a total solar eclipse is a lot like trying to describe the Grand Canyon to someone who doesn’t have a clue what it is.

Many people mistakenly think they’ve already seen a total solar eclipse; Georgians may remember viewing strange shadows and shifting light during the eclipse that traveled across North America in 2017. But like in 2017, Georgians will only have a partial view of the eclipse coming up in April and must wear eclipse glasses when looking up at the sky during its entirety for safety.

I am excited to be traveling to Texas – along with thousands of other eclipse chasers – to view one of the most awe-inspiring sights imaginable. And I encourage anyone who can make the trip east to grab a pair of eclipse glasses and go.

For more information, including important safety precautions, visit https://science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2024/.

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