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Solar Eclipse April 2024

March 26, 2024 (Updated April 5, 2024)

NASA Image of a Solar Eclipse

Image Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

Sometimes you absolutely want to be in the path of a natural phenomenon, and the 2024 Great North American Solar Eclipse is one of those times.

On April 8, 2024, Mexico, the United States, and Canada will witness a total solar eclipse. While only those along the path of totality will witness the Moon fully covering the Sun, there are plenty of chances to see a partial eclipse, including right here in Knoxville, where we'll see 85-90 percent coverage.

(If you want to travel to see the full eclipse, NASA has put together the path of totality here.)

Paul Lewis, who directs space science outreach for the Department of Physics and Astronomy, said it's possible to enjoy this fantastic astronomical event even if you stay here in East Tennessee.

"Just go out your front door, but be certain that you have certified solar eclipse glasses," he said. "For our area there is no totality, so you must keep the glasses on during the eclipse."

The American Astronomical Society also has tips on how to view the eclipse safely.

Moon Penumbral Pohoto Credit: Paul Lewis

Penumbral Eclipse, Image Credit: Paul Lewis

Eclipses always come in pairs and this one is no exception. The partial eclipse we will witness on April 8 was preceded by a deep penumbral eclipse of the moon on March 25th, as seen in the photo (left) taken by our very own Paul Lewis.

What's the Department of Physics and Astronomy Doing?

Weather permitting, we'll set up solar telescopes on the roof of the Nielsen Physics Building from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. for those who'd like to watch the eclipse with us. (If you're coming from off campus, please consult the campus visitor parking information available from UT Parking and Transportation.)

Assistant Professor Sherwood Richers will help host an event at The Muse Knoxville, with activities for kids including an explanation of eclipses (e.g., lights and shadows), presentations in the planetarium, and solar telescopes for on-site viewing. The event begins at 1:30 p.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m., when The Muse closes. The department is providing a limited number of solar glasses for the event and The Muse will also donate a few pairs.

Need Eclipse Glasses?

First of all, make sure that wherever you get your glasses, they're labeled ISO 12312-2 and have an authentic ISO certification label.

What Time is the Eclipse Happening in Knoxville?
  • April 8, 2024
  • For us here in Knoxville, the event starts at 1:49 pm.
  • The peak partial eclipse is about 3:07 pm.
  • The event should end at 4:23 pm.

UT Physics Shares Eclipse Insights with Local Media

Paul Lewis chats with WBIR/Channel 10 about the April 8 eclispe:

Senior Lecturer/Astronomy Coordinator/Research Assistant Professor Sean Lindsay encourages Knoxville News Sentinel readers to share the event with family and friends.

More Eclipse Resources

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