KEY POINTS

  • The Great North American Solar Eclipse is expected to happen soon
  • About 130 million people will experience the eclipse
  • Parts of Mexico and Canada will also be affected by the eclipse

A great solar eclipse that will affect North America and surrounding regions is expected to happen in a couple of years. During this cosmic event, an estimated 130 million people might experience the total solar eclipse.

Solar eclipses occur when the Moon’s apparent diameter or angular size appears larger than the Sun and blocks its sunlight from reaching Earth. During such an event, the shadow created by the Moon, which is referred to as the umbra, will creep across Earth and turn day into night for a brief period of time in certain areas.

According to experts, a massive solar eclipse will happen four years from now, on April 8, 2024. The event, referred to as the Great North American Solar Eclipse, will affect a huge part of the continent as well as certain regions in South and Central America.

During the eclipse, the umbra is expected to move across 16 states in North America. This means that about 130 million people will get the chance to experience the totality of the eclipse, Space.com reported.

Aside from North America, certain parts of Mexico will also be affected by the eclipse. In this region, the Moon’s umbra will first hit the land on the Pacific coast of Sinaloa before hitting the nearby cities. The city of Nazas in Durango, Mexico, will experience the longest duration of the eclipse’s totality at four minutes and 28 seconds.

Portions of Canada are also expected to be covered by the umbra. Residents in Ontario, Point Pelee and Quebec might start seeing the effects of the eclipse starting at around 3:00 p.m. EDT.

In total, the Moon’s umbra will touch the Earth for about three hours and 14 minutes during the Great North American Solar Eclipse. The last time this solar event took place was on Aug. 21, 2017. Compared to this event, the solar eclipse in 2024 will last longer. It is expected that the upcoming eclipse will be about 42 to 107 seconds longer than the eclipse in 2017.

Following the eclipse in April four years from now, the next event will take place on Oct. 2, 2024.