I have always been excited when a partial or total solar or lunar eclipse is about to happen over our little slice of the planet. Of course, weather plays into whether we'll see all, some or none of them at all.

I remember the first time I witnessed a solar eclipse, I was in elementary school and our teacher really hit some the importance of not staring directly into the sun during the eclipse or any other time. And to this day, I do my best to avoid any eye contact with the sun, no matter how short. Yes, I'm a bit odd.

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In my opinion between a lunar and a solar eclipse, the most spectacular are the solar eclipses. Sure a lunar eclipse is cool but doesn't compare to a lunar eclipse. The last total solar eclipse that was visible in parts of the United States occurred on August 21st, 2017.

The next total solar eclipse that will be visible in the United States will occur on April 8th, 2024. When it arrives, the Binghamton area will be in a great position to see it, barring cloud cover of course. If I am looking at the statistics correctly, according to the Eclipse 2024 website, our view should be somewhere around 97 percent.

The best views will be west of the Binghamton area, including the cities of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Rochester with a full view of the eclipse.

2024 Solar Eclipse
photo: Great American Eclipse.com

For the future, check out this map featuring all of the Total and Annual Solar eclipse paths provided by NASA from the time frame of 2021 through 2040. Unfortunately, most will not be visible in the United States.

NASA 2021-2040 Solar Eclipse
NASA / Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC

For more detailed information about past and future solar and lunar eclipses, visit the NASA Eclipse website.

via NASA Eclipse, Eclipse 2024

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

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Gallery Credit: Alexander Raeburn

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