Just warning you now: the 2030s are going to be a bit of a bummer for American umbraphiles who love chasing solar eclipses. While the next two years – 2023 and 2024 – bring two great eclipse-viewing opportunities (an annular eclipse in 2023 and a total eclipse in 2024), that’s the last time any solar eclipse will be visible within the United States until 2045. (Canadian astronomy fans will be treated to a total solar eclipse on year earlier, in 2044.)
In fact, that 2024 total solar eclipse is set to occur exactly two years from today, on April 8th, 2024. The band of totality will stretch across all of North America, from the Pacific coast of Mexico toward New England; states that will experience totality include Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, and the tiniest northern tip of Nova Scotia.
According to TimeandDate.com, a list of major North American cities in the path of totality includes:
- Mazatlan and Durango, Mexico
- Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Arlington, Texas
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Toledo, Akron, and Cleveland, Ohio
- Hamilton, Burlington, and Kingston, Ontario
- Buffalo and Rochester, New York
- Montréal and Longueuil, Quebec
- Montpelier, Vermont
In total, some 32 million people live in the path of totality, and up to 7.4 million more are expected to travel for it. While 2024 might seem like a long way off, some destinations are already preparing for the flood of totality-chasing tourist that will arrive. Visit Austin already has a page on their website giving visitors necessary information should they plan to visit that part of Texas; Visit Bloomington (Indiana) is also ready with a dedicated resource page; the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland is also ready – though this facility is the official visitor center for NASA Glenn in Northeast Ohio, so it’s no surprise they’re excited.
All this to say, if you love solar eclipses, the 2024 eclipse is one to mark on your calendar now – and start planning for if you want to experience totality in person. Travel to and accommodations in the path of totality will only get more expensive from here, so planning ahead can save lots and make your solar eclipse experience memorable only in your mind and not your bank account too.