NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 18 April 2023: Map of Total solar eclipse path

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The first solar eclipse of 2023 is almost here with a hybrid eclipse taking place on April 20. But how does an eclipse occur? According to NASA, a solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, the Moon, and Earth line up, either fully or partially. Depending on how they align, eclipses provide a unique, exciting view of either the Sun or the Moon. However, not all eclipses are visible all over the globe. NASA released a map citing details of 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses in the United States.

Today’s NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is the map of the total solar eclipse path which will take place on April 8 next year. Viewers in locations outside the paths will not experience a total solar eclipse or annular eclipse, but they may still see a partial eclipse. Apart from the hybrid solar eclipse occurring on April 20, an annular solar eclipse will also take place on October 14, while a total solar eclipse will happen on April 8, 2024. Lines running parallel to each path indicate how much of the Sun will become covered by the Moon during the partial eclipse. For the annular eclipse, these lines appear faint yellow. For the total eclipse, they’re faint purple.

The picture was created by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) which allows science enthusiasts to learn about NASA programs through visualization. According to NASA, the SVS works closely with scientists in the creation of visualizations, animations, and images to promote a greater understanding of Earth and Space Science research activities at NASA and within the academic research community supported by NASA.

NASA’s description of the picture

Would you like to see a total eclipse of the Sun? If so, do any friends or relatives live near the path of next April’s eclipse? If yes again, then you might want to arrange a well-timed visit. Next April 8, the path of a total solar eclipse will cross North America from western Mexico to eastern Canada, entering the USA in southern Texas and exiting in northern Maine.

All of North America will experience the least a partial solar eclipse. Featured here is a map of the path of totality. Many people who have seen a total solar eclipse tell stories about it for the rest of their lives. As a warmup, an annular solar eclipse will be visible later this year — in mid-October.

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