Countdown is on: The Great North American Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth casting a brief a shadow

The countdown clock is at two years until large parts of North America are cast in the complete shadow of the moon on April 8, 2024, when the Great North American Solar Eclipse gets underway.

The event only happens when the moon’s orbit is close to Earth, and the celestial body blocks out the view of the sun, creating a shadow on Earth’s surface.

Solar eclipses happen about twice a year but finding yourself under the totality of one is rare.

The American Astronomical Society says that any given spot on the planet only sees temporary darkness from the moon’s shadow once every 400 years.

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The event in 2024 will take place during the afternoon as the eclipse will travel above Mexico, into Texas and 14 other states before exiting through Canada.

Cities along the path are already planning events and large watch parties to ring in the Great North American Solar Eclipse that will last just a couple of minutes in any given location.

Against all odds, a limited part of the U.S. that consists of southeastern Missouri, western Kentucky and southern Illinois will be in store for their second total solar eclipse in less than a decade.

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A similar eclipse in 2017 toured the country from coast to coast, capturing the attention of millions, who stared into the sun with protective eye coverings.

If you miss the event in 2024, the next total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. won’t happen until August 12, 2045.

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Believe it or not, one day total solar eclipses will be a thing of the past.

The American Astronomical Society says the moon is slowly moving away from Earth at the rate of about 1.5 inches per year.

The society estimates the moon will lose the unique feature of completely blocking out the sun in about a billion years.

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