The solar eclipse marks the first total since 2017, it will take place across North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada, per NASA. 

According to the government agency, a total solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the Sun's face.

This means that people in the path of the eclipse will experience a darkened sky, similar to the dawn or dusk.

While there are several different types of eclipses, total solar eclipses in the United States are especially rare.

Projections show that the next time Kenyans will be able to see a fully red moon in the sky will be in September 2025 when there will be a total lunar eclipse (also called the blood moon). 

On September 18 this year, there will be a partial lunar eclipse visible from some parts of Kenya.

Illustrations of the eclipses

When will it take place?

The total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, 2024, which is today.

It will be the first total solar eclipse in almost seven years following the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017. 

What time does the 2024 total solar eclipse start?

The actual time the total solar eclipse takes place will vary based on your location, so be sure to check out NASA’s handy map for exact timing.

According to NASA’s website, the total solar eclipse will enter North America in Mexico at 11:07 a.m. PDT, and exit North America at the tip of the Newfoundland Coast at 5:16 NDT.

How long will it last?

Eclipse viewers near Torreón, Mexico, will get to experience totality for the longest.

Totality there will last 4 minutes, and 28 seconds, according to NASA. Most places along the centerline of the path of totality will see a total duration between 3.5 and 4 minutes long, according to NASA.

The path of the 2024 total solar eclipse

Per NASA, the eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean before crossing North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

It will start at Mexico’s Pacific coast, before entering the United States in Texas.

From there, it will travel through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The eclipse will then make its way to Canada in Southern Ontario, and continue through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. 

The eclipse will wrap up on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

The solar eclipse viewing glasses

How to view the eclipse 

When viewing a solar eclipse, it's not safe to look at the sun directly except when the moon completely blocks it.

To ensure safety, purchase solar eclipse glasses with black polymer lenses that block nearly all visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light.

NASA has a resource page with approved companies that sell safe solar viewers and filters for binoculars and telescopes.