Total Solar Eclipse 2024: Can Washington see it?

A total solar eclipse will cross North America next month, briefly turning day into dusk along a path through Mexico, the United States and Canada. 

More than 31 million people live in the path of this year's eclipse, but if you're not in one of the best viewing locations or if weather is a factor, there are ways to watch it. 

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, completely blocking the Sun's face for several minutes. When the sun is covered completely it is known as totality.

When is it? 

It's happening April 8, 2024.

Can Washington state see it?

No, but partially.  

Since Washington and Oregon are well outside the part of totality, you’ll notice a chunk of the sun is being blocked. 

What is the eclipse's path?

The eclipse reaches Mexico’s Pacific coast in the morning, cuts diagonally across the U.S. from Texas to Maine and exits in eastern Canada by late afternoon. Most of the rest of the continent will see a partial eclipse.

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Projected path and time of totality for the 2024 total solar eclipse over Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

How long will it last?

Totality will last up to 4 minutes, 28 seconds in certain spots, twice as long as the full solar eclipse that darkened U.S. skies in 2017. There won’t be another coast-to-coast eclipse in the U.S. until 2045.

How can I safely watch it?

If you're planning to be in the projected path, you'll need glasses with solar filters, sometimes known as eclipse glasses – with a certification stamp of "ISO 12312-2" – have extra dark film that blocks out the sun to a safe level. Many local libraries and science museums are giving them away for free right now, but the supply will run out.

For people who are outside of the path, can watch it on NASA's website. 

The agency said it plans to stream live coverage of the eclipse online on its website, app and social channels. 

When is the next eclipse?

Full solar eclipses occur every year or two or three, often in the middle of nowhere like the South Pacific or Antarctic. The next total solar eclipse, in 2026, will grace the northern fringes of Greenland, Iceland and Spain.

North America won’t experience totality again until 2033, with Alaska getting sole dibs. Then that’s it until 2044, when totality will be confined to Western Canada, Montana and North Dakota.

The Associated Press and FOX Weather contributed to this report.