May 24, 2024

Science – Mexico, USA and Canada: Total solar eclipse is visible – Knowledge

New York (dpa) – Millions of people in Mexico, the United States and Canada could witness a total solar eclipse today. Such a celestial scene occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and completely blocks the sun. NASA also calls it a “cosmic masterpiece.”

“A solar eclipse has a very special power,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said at a news conference. “They move people and give them a deep respect for the universe.”

It begins over the Pacific Ocean, extends over northern Mexico, crosses the United States from northeastern Texas to Maine, touches southeastern Canada and ends over the North Atlantic Ocean. The spectacle takes place mainly in the afternoon (local time). Large cities such as Dallas, Indianapolis, Buffalo and Montreal are located in the region, and more than 30 million people live there. The last total solar eclipse was seen from the United States in 2017, from Mexico in 1991 and from Canada in 1979. The next eclipse – after the one that occurred on April 8 – will be announced for the United States and Canada only in 2044, and for Mexico in 2052.

Partial solar eclipse in parts of Europe

The astronomical spectacle cannot be observed from Europe. A partial solar eclipse can only be seen on the western edge of the continent, for example in parts of Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Great Britain, as well as in Iceland. The last time a total solar eclipse was seen in Germany was in August 1999, and the next one will occur in September 2081.

Preparations on the ground for the spectacle in the sky have been going on for months: parties for people to observe together are being planned in many places, where special eye protection glasses will also be distributed free of charge. Many schools in areas where the total solar eclipse can be viewed have announced that they will be closed that day. In addition, millions of people living elsewhere have booked trips. Hotels and holiday apartments in areas witnessing a total solar eclipse are fully booked in many places, and authorities are warning of very high traffic density.

However, the weather forecast is not particularly good. For the USA, the Weather Channel has forecast clouds, and in some cases rain and storms, in many areas. The weather station said there were better chances of seeing the spectacle in a smaller area in the northeast. In order to fully experience a total solar eclipse, a clear sky with a view of the moon and sun is necessary, NASA writes. However, the eerie darkness that comes with it can also be observed during the day when the sky is cloudy.

Many scientists are also prepared. NASA observes, records, and measures solar eclipses using aircraft and balloons, among other things.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240408-99-596018/2