In April 2024, Columbus residents and visitors to Ohio will have a front-row seat to one of nature’s most stunning displays: a near total solar eclipse.
For a few awe-inspiring minutes, the moon will glide across the sun, casting a shadow over the city and offering a celestial show that hasn’t graced Ohio skies in over two centuries.
What Is a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse is a cosmic ballet of the sun, Earth, and moon. During this event, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, temporarily obscuring the sun from our view.
While solar eclipses occur somewhere on Earth every 18 months or so, the chance to witness one in a specific location like Ohio is rare. The last total eclipse in the state happened way back in 1806, making the upcoming event on April 8, 2024, a much-anticipated phenomenon.
Totality in Ohio
This eclipse is particularly special for Ohioans, as portions of the state will experience “totality,” where the moon completely covers the sun. The experience is dramatic – a fleeting moment of daytime darkness that transforms the landscape.
While a partial eclipse is interesting, it pales in comparison to the breathtaking spectacle of a total eclipse. The map provided shows the areas in Ohio that will experience totality, with those closer to the centerline enjoying a longer duration.
Where to Get Free Eclipse Glasses
Safety is paramount when viewing an eclipse. Looking directly at the sun without proper protection can cause serious eye damage. Fortunately, Columbus residents have several options to obtain free eclipse glasses, ensuring a safe viewing experience.
Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML)
Starting Monday, March 18, free eclipse glasses will be available at all 23 CML locations. These will be limited to four per family and are expected to go quickly. Call 614-645-2275 to check availability. In addition to providing glasses, CML will host eclipse-themed programs throughout March and early April.
COSI: A Day of Eclipse Activities
COSI isn’t just giving away eclipse glasses; they’re hosting an entire day of eclipse-related fun on April 8th. With hands-on activities and educational events, COSI is the place to be for both entertainment and learning about this rare event.
Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks
Keep an eye on Metro Parks for announcements about eclipse glasses availability. While details are yet to be released, they are likely to join in the eclipse fever sweeping the city.
If for some reason you aren’t able to obtain any free eclipse glasses, it’s really important to be smart about where you buy them. Proper eye protection is critical for eclipse viewing, so the American Astronomical Society has curated a list of Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters and Glasses.
On April 8, at 3:10 p.m., Columbus will plunge into near darkness for about 3-4 minutes.
Whether you’re a lifelong resident or just visiting, this is a unique opportunity to witness a rare and wondrous event, safely and memorably. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this historic solar eclipse!
If you’d like to get all the details about the solar eclipse, you can head over to our eclipse headquarters: Everything You Need To Know About The 2024 Solar Eclipse