May 24, 2024

Science – Millions of people see a total solar eclipse – Knowledge

New York (dpa) – Millions of people in Mexico, the United States and Canada witnessed a total solar eclipse on Monday. Such a celestial scene occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and completely blocks the sun.

Starting in the Pacific Ocean, the shadow zone moved over northern Mexico throughout the day, crossed the United States from northeastern Texas to Maine, touched southeastern Canada and ended over the North Atlantic Ocean.

Applause and tears

In Mexico, thousands of tourists and residents, for example in the Pacific coastal city of Mazatlán, noticed how a solar eclipse made it largely dark for a few minutes. When the sky cleared again, there was applause and tears, Milenio TV reported. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also flew to Mazatlán to attend the event. He also held a press conference from there.

Millions of people in the United States have been preparing for this natural event for months and planning parties to watch the sky together. More than 30 million people live in the control area with major cities such as Dallas, Indianapolis, Buffalo, and Montreal.

Many schools remained closed, hotels and holiday apartments were fully booked in advance, and there was an increase in traffic. Large numbers of people gathered in parks, sports fields and tourist attractions such as Niagara Falls. In major cities outside the core area – such as New York, Washington, and Los Angeles – only a partial solar eclipse can be seen.

Behavior change in animals

In many places, the image was slightly overshadowed by clouds, but millions of people still watched the spectacle with cheers and applause. Many have purchased special glasses specifically for this purpose. During the temporary darkness, the air became noticeably colder and, according to scientists and zoo staff, the animals changed their behavior. According to media reports, many couples along the Via Umbra took advantage of this exceptional event for an unforgettable wedding day. Vampire Weekend held a special concert in Austin, Texas.

Scientists have been preparing for this event for months. NASA examined the solar eclipse using planes and balloons, among other things. According to NASA, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were able to at least partially observe the scene — as well as see the moon's shadow on Earth.

The next total solar eclipse is in September 2081

The last total solar eclipse to date was seen from the United States in 2017, from Mexico in 1991 and from Canada in 1979. The next one will not be announced for the United States and Canada until 2044, and for Mexico not until 2052.

The astronomical spectacle cannot be observed from Europe. Only in the western fringes – such as parts of Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Great Britain as well as Iceland – was there a partial solar eclipse worth admiring. The last time a total solar eclipse was seen in Germany was in August 1999, and the next one will follow in September 2081.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240408-99-605254/5

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