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16 June, 2024
 
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Tonight's total solar eclipse promises to mesmerize the sky

Millions in North and Central America await celestial showdown

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Today, on Monday, April 8, a celestial spectacle is set to unfold across vast swathes of North and Central America as a total solar eclipse takes center stage.

The eclipse, where the Moon will pass directly in front of the Sun, casting a shadow over the Earth, promises to be a breathtaking event for millions of spectators. It will be visible from regions spanning North America, Mexico, and Canada.

Starting its journey from the southern Pacific Ocean, the eclipse will first grace the skies of Mexico before making its way across the United States, passing through Texas and continuing northeast into Canada.

During the peak of the eclipse, known as totality, observers will be treated to a mesmerizing sight as the sky darkens, resembling the onset of dawn or dusk. This rare moment allows viewers to witness the Sun's corona, its outer atmosphere, for up to four minutes.

While those within the path of totality will experience the full spectacle, individuals in adjacent areas will still have the opportunity to witness a partial eclipse.

NASA has geared up for the event, planning live coverage from various locations across the United States, starting at 8 p.m. Greek time and spanning three hours.

The anticipation surrounding the eclipse has drawn enthusiasts from all corners, including both professional and amateur astronomers, astrophotographers, and dedicated eclipse chasers. Groups from Greece have embarked on journeys to the United States and Mexico to capture this awe-inspiring astronomical phenomenon.

Among them is astrophysicist Fiori-Anastasia Metallinou from the Visitors' Center of the National Observatory of Athens, who, along with members of the Astronomical Association of Sparta "Dioskouroi," has traveled to Durango, Mexico, to witness the event firsthand.

Ms. Metallinou sheds light on the significance of this particular eclipse, noting that it coincides with the peak of the Sun's solar activity, promising heightened solar phenomena, such as flares and prominences.

She also highlights the intriguing aspect of the eclipse occurring 18 years after the total eclipse of 2006, showcasing the cyclical nature of celestial events known as the Saros cycle.

As millions eagerly await the spectacle, it serves as a reminder of the awe-inspiring wonders of the universe, bringing people together in shared fascination and appreciation of the natural world.

The next total solar eclipse is anticipated on August 12, 2024, with visibility extending to Iceland, Portugal, Russia, and Spain.

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Cyprus  |  eclipse  |  world

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