SAN DIEGO — Did you miss the “ring of fire” eclipse Saturday morning? Well, you won’t have to wait long until the next one.
On Apr. 8, 2024, a total eclipse will be seen across North and Central America, drawing out the stars during the daytime as the moon moves into a position that completely covers the sun.
The spectacle is described as a “once in a lifetime” experience by those who are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it. However, like Saturday’s solar event, it will only be visible in its entirety across a narrow tract, known as the “path of totality.”
Projections for the total eclipse‘s path of totality indicates that it will first be seen in perfect alignment across central Mexico, before it passes northeast through Texas and up towards New York and Canada.
A map showing the U.S. path of totality for the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses can be found below.
While San Diego is again outside the path of totality for the next eclipse, residents in the region will still be able to see a partial blockage of the sun.
The movement of the moon with the eclipse will be noticeable for a window just shy of two-and-a-half hours from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. According to projections, the event is anticipated to reach its maximum coverage around 11:12 a.m.
Experts expect about 54 to 62% of the sun will be visibly covered by the moon in San Diego during the peak of the eclipse, creating a “crescent sun” before continuing on its path — a view similar to that of Saturday’s annular eclipse.
The blockage will also likely make a perceptible difference in the sky, dimming and changing the color of light slightly.
Visible solar events like these two eclipses are quite rare, occurring every five to 10 years in any given place.
After the Apr. 8 total eclipse, the next solar eclipse that is visible from San Diego won’t be until 2029, according to Douglas Leonard, associate professor of astronomy at San Diego State University.
As he explained, the moon passes directly in front of the sun at least twice a year, but the orbit of the Earth makes it so each event’s path of totality is unique. In other parts of the world, people may be able to see an eclipse while it’s a “normal” day in San Diego.
“Either way, it’s exciting,” Leonard said in reference to the total eclipse ahead of Saturday’s event. “These things don’t happen very often where you don’t have to go somewhere else to see it … People should make a little effort to, to go witness it.”