There’s a total solar eclipse coming in just a few days, and another one in April next year. If you plan to take some shots or just observe this celestial event, an eclipse map will come in handy. The Planetary Society has you covered. They have released a comprehensive map to guide you through both eclipses and help you plan these special days.
The upcoming eclipses
People in the Americas will see an annular or “ring of fire” solar eclipse on October 14, 2023. It occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. This causes the Sun to appear as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the dark disk of the Moon. The reason the Moon appears smaller is due to its elliptical orbit around Earth. When the Moon is farther away from the Earth (at its apogee), it appears smaller in the sky.
On October 14, the annularity will pass through the Americas between 8:18 a.m. and 5:52 p.m. local time.
On April 8, 2024, there will be a total solar eclipse above roughly the same areas. The totality will pass through North America between 11:04 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. local time.
The eclipse map
“Many of the maps available are great for eclipse chasers, but intimidating for everyday people,” The Planetary Society spokesperson told DIYP. “With this in mind, The Planetary Society partnered up with The Eclipse Company to give the public an easy-to-use map to help them get to the path of totality.”
Sure, there are other maps available, like this one from NASA. But The Planetary Society’s map was designed with real-life considerations and “regular Joes” in mind. Of course, it includes the usual information about cloud cover and length of totality or annularity. But it also allows you to browse viewing locations and find lodgings nearby if you’re a traveler. You’ll also see local community events like the Solar Eclipse Festival 2024 in Austin, Texas.