The Sky In April 2024 – By Dee Sharples

Poster’s Note: The text for this month’s installment from Dee Sharples, “The Sky In April 2024,” is provided below. Those wishing to listen to the article can click on the audio link below.

It’s finally here! The total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, April 8!

The path of the eclipse will run across Mexico, through 15 U.S. states and over the Canadian Maritime provinces, home to 34 million people. Millions more will travel to places in the 115-mile-wide shadow of totality to witness this wonderous sight.

Although Mexico is famously sunny in April, when the eclipse reaches Texas where cloudy skies are common in April, there’s a 50-50 chance it will be clear. Clouds are predicted for 60 to 70% at the time of the eclipse. In Buffalo, cold air over Lake Erie discourages clouds but as the eclipse continues its northeast journey, Lake Ontario will keep cloudy skies under control so anywhere north of Rochester and hugging the lakeshore will offer a better chance of seeing the show.

Rochester area timing:
2:07 PM: Eclipse begins as the moon begins to cover the sun
3:20 PM: Totality begins and lasts for 3 minutes, 38 seconds
4:33 PM: Eclipse ends

Described on the website – As totality approaches during a total solar eclipse, the solar corona forms a faint ring around the Moon. Meanwhile, the Crescent Sun shrinks to a single, dazzling jewel of sunlight – producing the effect of a diamond ring in the sky. Seconds later, the jewel of sunlight breaks up into points of light known as Baily’s beads.

Bailey’s beads are brilliant spots of sunlight peeking through the uneven surface of crater edges, just before the beginning, and right after, totality.

Remember it’s critical to protect your eyes by wearing approved solar eclipse glasses for the entire eclipse except during the 3 minutes, 38 seconds of totality.

Look for four star-like planets above and below the blocked surface of the sun when the sky will be black as a moonless night. The temperature will drop at least 10 degrees without the warmth of the sun, birds will stop singing and return to their nests, thinking nighttime has arrived, you might hear frogs. Take note of your earthly surroundings as a false night descends over the land.

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