How long will April's total solar eclipse last?


On April 8, a total solar eclipse will be visible from parts of North America, with the entire continent at least seeing partial phases.

How long the total solar eclipse portion of the event lasts depends on where you are along and within the path of totality.

If you’re unable to see the eclipse in person, you can watch the total solar eclipse live here on Space.com. And keep up with all the actions with our total solar eclipse 2024 live updates blog.

Related: How fast will April’s total solar eclipse travel?

Totality across North America

The first moment of totality to be seen on the planet will be at 12:38 p.m. EDT (1638 GMT) and the last at 3:55 p.m. EDT (1955 GMT), a sum of 3 hours, 16 minutes and 45 seconds. This is the effect of the moon’s umbra, its dark central shadow, which will create a path of totality about 115 miles (185 kilometers) wide, diagonally across parts of the North American continent.

Total duration of totality:

  • Totality in Mexico: 40 minutes 43 seconds

  • Totality in the U.S.: 67 minutes 58 seconds

  • Totality in Canada: 34 minutes 4 seconds

Earth is spherical, and so is the moon. When the moon’s shadow strikes Earth, it does so obliquely as a stretched oval, becomes a more circular shadow at the point of greatest eclipse, and then stretches again.

You have to be in the path of the umbra — the dark inner part of the moon‘s shadow — to experience totality. Your experience depends not only on where you are located along the path but also on how close you are to its centerline. The closer you are to the centreline, the longer the duration of totality.

But don’t worry too much about getting as close as possible to the centerline. “People visiting the path of totality this April 8 do not need to go to the path center to get a long-duration eclipse,” Michael Zeiler, eclipse cartographer at GreatAmericanEclipse.com, told Space.com. “You can get 90% of the maximum totality by driving 60% of the distance from path edge to center,” Zeiler continued.

Related: Why you don’t need to get to the centerline for April’s total solar eclipse — and what will happen at the edge

So, how long the total solar eclipse lasts depends entirely on where you are, but all this needs context. The total solar eclipse of 2010 was the last time it was possible to experience a totality of over four minutes, with the last in the U.S. in 2017 lasting a maximum of 2 minutes 42 seconds. Besides, the most important thing on April 8 is to be anywhere inside the path of totality where the sky is clear.

How long the eclipse will last across notable locations

Maximum totality at sunrise

As the eclipse begins at sunrise south of Starbuck Island in the Pacific Ocean at 6:24 a.m. local time on April 9 (1624 GMT April 8) the moon’s shadow will be as far from the moon as it can get. The path of totality — the width of the moon’s shadow — will be 89.5 miles (144 kilometers) when it first appears on Earth. Consequently, the totality will be shorter, lasting just 2 minutes and 6 seconds.

Point of greatest eclipse

Total solar eclipse 2024 map showing the moon's shadow traveling over Mexico.

Total solar eclipse 2024 map showing the moon’s shadow traveling over Mexico.

About 5,000 miles later is the point of greatest eclipse, where totality will last 4 minutes 28 seconds from 12:15 CST (1715 GMT) over a tiny town called Nazas about 25 minutes northwest of Torreón in the state of Durango, Mexico.

At this point, the moon will be as close to Earth as it gets during the eclipse simply because Earth is spherical. It’s over Nazas that the centers of the moon, Earth and sun are perfectly aligned. Here, the path of totality will be 123 miles (197km) wide — the widest it gets during the eclipse.

Maximum totality at sunset

Total solar eclipse 2024 eclipse map showing the path of the moon's shadow across Maine and eastern Canada.

Total solar eclipse 2024 eclipse map showing the path of the moon’s shadow across Maine and eastern Canada.

As the eclipse ends at sunset in the Atlantic Ocean at 4:53 p.m. EDT (2053 GMT) on April 8, the moon’s shadow will again be as far from the moon as possible. The path of totality here will be just 88 miles (142 km) wide when it last appears on Earth. This final totality will last 2 minutes and 3 seconds.



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