A Celestial Spectacle: April 8 Total Solar Eclipse in North America

On April 8, the Moon's shadow will cover North America in a spectacular total solar eclipse. This rare event will allow 40 million people to see the sky go dark and the stars appear in daylight.

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On April 8, the Moon’s shadow will cross North America at over 2,400 kilometers per hour, causing a total solar eclipse. This unique event will also be part of a long-term cycle.

The shadow’s path – the path of the Moon’s dark shadow across the Earth’s surface – will be only 185 kilometers wide and will pass through parts of Mexico, the US and Canada. This never-to-be-repeated route will take only 100 minutes. Only through this path will darkness cover the sky during the day, the temperature will drop and the behavior of nocturnal animals will change. Also, only through this path will it be possible to see the eclipsed Sun’s spectacular corona with the naked eye. (Remember: Never look directly at the Sun except during a solar eclipse, use certified eclipse glasses).

For most of the 40 million people living in the path of totality, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But solar eclipses are the product of a long-term pattern that repeats over time periods much longer than human lifespans.

 

A Celestial Spectacle: April 8 Total Solar Eclipse in North America
The period of 669 lunations or 54 years and 33 days is called “exeligmos”.

All solar eclipses are composed of families called Saros. For every 223 orbits of the Moon around the Earth, a nearly identical lunar shadow is projected onto the Earth’s surface to cause an eclipse. According to NASA, this duration is 6,585.3 days or 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours.

These 8 hours are critical. Three consecutive solar eclipses in the same Saros occur within a third of a kilometer around the earth. The total solar eclipse on April 8 is part of Saros 139, which was responsible for an eclipse that occurred in Africa 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours ago on March 29, 2006. Exactly 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours later, on April 20, 2042, the same Saros will produce a total solar eclipse in Asia.

The Cycle of Solar Eclipses: A Long Journey

The eight-hour interval guarantees that the same eclipse path will revisit the same point on Earth every four repetitions. This period of 669 lunations or 54 years and 33 days is called “exeligmos”.

So, the same celestial mechanics that caused the total solar eclipse on April 8 also caused a total solar eclipse in North America on March 7, 1970. The path of the eclipse at that time was a little further east, bringing Mexico, the United States (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Massachusetts) and Canada (Nova Scotia and Newfoundland) under the Moon’s shadow. After April 8, this path will make its next visit to North America again on May 11, 2078. On this date, Mexico and the USA (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia) will experience a total eclipse.

But the Saros series doesn’t last forever; they appear and disappear on the Earth’s surface over the centuries, eventually fading into space. Saros 130 has been producing solar eclipses since 1501 and will continue to do so until 2763. But it will experience its most spectacular moment on July 16, 2186, when it will produce a total eclipse lasting 7 minutes and 29 seconds – the longest total eclipse in the last 10,000 years and will hold the record until at least the year 6000.

source: https://tr.fikrikadim.com

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