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Exploring Totality: How to view the total solar eclipse in vermont

March 13, 2024 by Addie Hedges

Have you noticed the hubbub in Vermont recently? Sparking the creation of t-shirts, posters, events, and other memorabilia is not just the usual chatter about maple syrup and mud season that we usually hear this time of year. This time, it’s about something much bigger— a celestial event that’s got everyone talking. But what’s all the fuss about this total solar eclipse happening on a seemingly ordinary Monday afternoon? 

So, what is a solar eclipse? It’s when the sun, moon, and Earth align in a specific way, with the moon positioned between the sun and our planet. This alignment causes the moon to cast a shadow on the Earth, blocking out the sun’s light. However, for us to witness a total solar eclipse, a few conditions need to be met. The moon has to be at a point in its orbit closer to Earth than usual, and the sun and moon must align perfectly. As you might have seen on maps, the eclipse’s path shows the areas on Earth where this perfect alignment will result in a total eclipse from our perspective on Earth. 

When the eclipse reaches us here in Vermont, the moon will begin to cover the sun and move over it for a little over an hour before reaching totality for only a couple of minutes, then slowly uncover the sun over another hour. Over this period, the sky will get dark, similar to how it looks at dawn or dusk, which makes this different from a partial eclipse when only a part of the sun is shrouded, so it still feels like daylight. For about two hours on April 8th, we’ll all be wearing eclipse glasses to see this unforgettable moment that won’t happen again in the United States until 2044! 

With such a rare event, it is essential to understand how to view the eclipse safely. It is also good to think ahead and pick a spot ahead of time. This event falls during mud season, which makes knowing where to view the solar eclipse tricky. Many trail organizations advise against going on trail with the muddy conditions. Open areas are better than forested ones, and property boundaries must be respected. Quite a few organizations have put together eclipse viewing parties or events that can support an influx of visitors. 

Visit Vermont’s eclipse website to sign up for alerts, learn more about events hosted within the path of totality, and find additional information about viewing the solar eclipse in the Green Mountain State. 

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