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Empowering Pennsylvanians with Community Solar: Support for House Bill 1842

Updated April 9, 2024

Blue background with clouds and a large sunflower as background with text in saying breaking news. The title reads The April 8 2024 Solar eclipse, impact and states affected.

Millions Anticipate Spectacular Solar Eclipse Across the United States

As April 8, 2024 approaches, anticipation builds for an awe-inspiring celestial event - a total solar eclipse that will sweep across the United States. Memories of the remarkable eclipse of August 21, 2017, linger as people prepare for another remarkable display in the sky.

In 2017, an estimated 215 million U.S. adults, accounting for 88% of the population, witnessed the solar eclipse firsthand or through electronic means. The upcoming eclipse promises to be even more captivating, offering unique differences in its path, timing, and scientific significance.

Wider Path, Greater Accessibility

One notable difference is the wider path of totality expected during the 2024 eclipse compared to its predecessor. While the 2017 eclipse had a path ranging from about 62 to 71 miles wide, the upcoming eclipse will span between 108 and 122 miles over North America. This expanded path will pass through more cities and densely populated areas, making it more accessible to a larger audience. An estimated 31.6 million people reside within the path of totality, with an additional 150 million living within 200 miles of the trajectory.

Impact Across States

While every state in the contiguous United States, as well as parts of Alaska and Hawaii, will experience at least a partial solar eclipse, some states will be particularly impacted. States such as Texas, Indiana, and Illinois will witness longer durations of totality compared to others. In Texas, totality is expected to last about 4 minutes and 26 seconds, while durations longer than 4 minutes extend into Indiana. Even as the eclipse exits the U.S. and enters Canada, it will continue to captivate viewers for up to 3 minutes and 21 seconds.

Scientific Exploration

The path of totality and partial contours crossing the U.S. for the 2024 total solar eclipse occurring on April 8, 2024.

credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

The 2024 solar eclipse also presents an invaluable opportunity for scientific research. Building on initiatives from the 2017 eclipse, NASA is funding several research projects to study the Sun and its influence on Earth. Researchers will utilize various instruments, including high-altitude research planes and ham radios, to gather data during the eclipse. Additionally, spacecraft such as NASA's Parker Solar Probe and ESA's Solar Orbiter, launched since 2017, will provide complementary insights into the Sun's corona.

As April 8, 2024 draws near, excitement mounts among sky watchers and scientists alike, eager to witness and explore the wonders of this celestial phenomenon.

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Geraldine Dimalaluan applies her analytical prowess to unravel the intricacies of solar trends. As a seasoned data analyst, she brings a data-driven perspective to the quest for a more sustainable future.