Solar Eclipse Viewing April 8

Are you ready for the eclipse? It’s kind of a big deal. The next one won’t happen until 2044, but the next one to be visible in the Blue Water Area won’t be until 2099.

Rare Phenomenon

According to NASA, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada on April 8th, 2024. This rare phenomenon happens when “the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk.” The path of the total eclipse just misses Michigan, but it’s close. According to a press release from SC4, the sun will be 98.1 percent blocked during the eclipse as seen from Port Huron. The eclipse will be most visible at approximately 3:15 p.m.

Solar Glasses Mandatory

You can’t just run outside and stare at the sun. Your eyes will be instantly damaged. There are a few places where you can get solar glasses for safe viewing.

To view the eclipse without an emergency trip to the eye doctor, solar glasses are a must. Branches of the St. Clair County Library System have a limited supply of glasses, free to patrons.

NASA has a great list of ways to “view” the eclipse without glasses, using a homemade pinhole projector.

Eclipse Parties

St. Clair County Community College will be hosting a celebration of the eclipse from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 8th along the banks of the Black River on River Street, near the college campus in downtown Port Huron.

The college will provide information on the eclipse, will have SC4 professors on hand, and have access to solar telescopes for viewing. There will also be a tour of the SC4 Planetarium Experience in the College Center Atrium.

There will also be an Eclipse Party at the Main Branch of the St. Clair County Library System. The party is from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and includes solar glasses, STEM activities, and snacks.

Memorable Event

SC4 Instructor of Physics/Astronomy Patrick Wilcox said “Witnessing a solar eclipse from your hometown is memorable for all. The dramatic change in our relatively constant surroundings causes one to think and wonder about the universe. That curiosity sticks with us, every time we recall the event.”

SC4 Professor of Chemistry Joe Gibbons said, “Witness the elegant dance of our most important heavenly bodies as they show us that there is indeed order in the chaos of the universe.”

Story by Jennie McClelland for