Detroit Free Press

Plan more than 2 hours for viewing eclipse

Totality is just a few minutes, but full show is much longer

- Jennifer Dixon Contact Jennifer Dixon: jbdixon@freepress.

As we gear up for the April 8 solar eclipse, you may have heard that an eclipse lasts just a few minutes. That’s only partially true.

If you’re planning to watch the eclipse (safely, of course), prepare to spend a couple of hours looking skyward, from the moment the moon begins to cover the face of the sun until it moves completely out of the way. In the middle of that span is totality, the part that lasts a few minutes, but only occurs in a path that stretches from Texas to Maine, including a sliver of Michigan. The path of totality will be from 108 to 122 miles wide.

Here are some tips for watching the eclipse:

What will the 2024 eclipse look like?

Go to eclipse202­ to find precise times

with an eclipse simulator for multiple communitie­s in southeast Michigan.

How long will the 2024 eclipse last?

The solar eclipse on April 8 is expected to last about two-and-a-half hours, from the moment the moon begins crossing in front of the sun to when it completely moves out of its way. Expect to look skyward from about 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. if you want to see the entire celestial show; to find exact times in your area, use the ZIP code locator above.

How long is the totality of an eclipse?

Totality may only last a few minutes, depending on your location. If you’re in the path of totality, expect it to last about four minutes.

If you’re not in the path of totality, don’t fret; there are plenty of other things to observe.

Where should I watch the eclipse?

If you’re in Michigan, the southeaste­rn part of Monroe County is the lone part of the state that will be in the path of totality. There are plenty of locations in Ohio that are good spots to watch the eclipse within the path of totality. Here are last-minute hotels you can try to book.

What should I expect during an eclipse?

Look for shadow bands — rapidly moving, long dark bands separated by white spaces shortly before and after totality; the short-lived Baily’s Beads, points of light that shine around the moon’s edges; and a bright spot at the edge of the moon’s shadow that looks like a

diamond on a ring.

Expect temps to drop in path of totality

A drop in air temperatur­es of as much as 10 degrees is likely, along with an eerie silence, even if it’s cloudy.

NASA says don’t just look skyward, check out the people around you in case they have a deep emotional response to the darkening sky.

Other considerat­ions

Make sure you are not trespassin­g on someone else’s property. And use eyewear with the ISO standard 12321-2. NASA does not endorse a particular brand of glasses.

When is the next eclipse?

The next total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States will take place in 2044. The next solar eclipse with a path of totality that crosses Michigan will take place in 2099.

 ?? AL GOLDIS/FOR THE LANSING STATE JOURNAL ?? Natalie Harper watches the eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing.
AL GOLDIS/FOR THE LANSING STATE JOURNAL Natalie Harper watches the eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing.

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