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A Rare Solar Eclipse Will Mesmerize Columbus This April

Get ready for a celestial spectacle! On April 8, 2024, Ohio will be the epicenter of a breathtaking total solar eclipse.

We’ll have tons of visitors to the Buckeye state, each of them with their eyes pointed towards the sky. Most likely, you remember the massive hype regarding the total solar eclipse back in 2017. If you weren’t able to fully experience that one, don’t feel too bad. The upcoming 2024 eclipse will offer Ohioans an even better viewing because Ohio is directly in the path of complete totality.

Totality, that moment when the sun is fully eclipsed by the moon, will start in Mexico before taking a path northeast towards Maine. At 3:08 p.m. EST on April 8, totality will enter Ohio in the southeast and travel northeast across the state for 11 minutes.

During the eclipse, Ohio will be lucky enough to be plunged into a twilight zone. The landscape will be bathed in a soft, silvery light, unlike the harshness of midday sun or the darkness of night. Birds have been known to begin their evening songs, confused by the fading light, while nocturnal animals may stir, thinking that it’s time to wake for the evening. As totality occurs, the horizon will be lit in a 360-degree sunset, a ring of light encircling you.

The path of the 2024 lunar eclipse over Ohio

Maximizing Your Eclipse Experience in Ohio’s Best Viewing Locations.

If you’re hoping to watch from Columbus, you’ll want to go as far northwest as you can get, since the downtown area is not in totality. You’ll likely have to go to the Dublin area to experience totality. In Dublin, totality will hit around 3:11 p.m. and last for around 1 and a half minutes. Westerville is also expected to experience totality, although it will only last for roughly 30 seconds.

Columbus itself won’t be a bad spot either though. While it won’t see 100% totality, it will achieve 99.68% totality.

Around the state, several cities will experience totality for over 3 minutes, including Dayton, Lima, Springfield, Sandusky, and Cleveland. You can learn more about the direct path of the eclipse from NASA.

Order Your Eclipse Equipment Yesterday

During the lead up to the 2017 eclipse, one common problem facing excited potential viewers was the lack of eclipse equipment. Safe glasses were hard to come by as the eclipse drew closer, so this time around, it’s best to be prepared.

When buying glasses to wear, it’s important to make sure that they’re made correctly and will actually do the business of keeping your eyes protected during this solar event. For info about where to order your glasses, the American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable vendors here.

Once totality hits, it’s safe to take off your glasses and look at the magical solar corona with the naked eye. But for the periods of the eclipse leading up to and away from that moment, you’ll need to keep your eyes safe.

Don’t Destroy Your Camera: Tips For Capturing The Eclipse

Whether you’re using your phone or you’ve got a high-end camera, you can get some awesome photos of the solar eclipse. For those hoping to document the event on their DSLR cameras, you can find handy guides from Nikon and B&H Photo on how to snap the perfect solar eclipse pic.

When it comes to taking photos on your phone, there are a few simple things to remember that will help you get better images of the eclipse. First of all, don’t zoom in. I know it will be tempting, but just trust me. You can always crop it later if you need to and this way, you’ll have to deal with less grain.

Secondly, remember to cover your camera phone lens with your eclipse glasses. This will keep your photo from being too overexposed by the bit of the sun that isn’t blocked by the moon. Finally, consider adding some cool gear to your mobile camera set up, including additional lenses or shooting through a telescope.

What To Know If You Want To Travel For The Eclipse

There will be many people looking for places to stay when they come to Ohio to view the eclipse. One popular option around the country during the 2017 eclipse was camping. It’s affordable, it’s focused on the great outdoors, and if you plan it right, you won’t even have to leave your campsite to enjoy the eclipse.

There are dozens of campgrounds along the path of totality during the eclipse, including state parks around Hamilton, Dayton, and most of northwest Ohio. Cuyahoga Valley National Park will likely be a prime destination for eclipse viewers, but unfortunately, guests are not permitted to camp within the park. Luckily, several state parks in the area do offer camping.

Although most campgrounds don’t allow reservations so far in advance, it’s important to remember that as we get closer to 2024, the spots will fill up quickly.

Astronomy Groups

It’s well worth paying attention to local astronomy groups leading up to the big day. Eclipse events will be happening all over central Ohio and these groups (along with our newsletter) will help keep you in the loop. Here are some of the best:

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Stay ahead of the curve with our daily newsletter, your essential guide to all things Columbus, including up-to-the-minute eclipse news, expert tips, and exclusive event details. From prime viewing spots and community gatherings to safety advice and local festivities, we’ve got you covered right here.