Here’s our comprehensive, in-depth guide to viewing the total solar eclipse

Ars Technica » Scientific Method 2024-03-25

The path of totality for the April 8 eclipse.

Enlarge / The path of totality for the April 8 eclipse. (credit: National Solar Observatory)

If you enter "how to see the eclipse" into your favorite search engine, you're bound to see thousands—millions?—of helpful guides. Some of these are extremely detailed and thorough, almost as if the author were getting paid by the word or augmented by AI.

In reality, seeing a solar eclipse is just about the easiest thing one can do in one's life. Like, it's difficult to think of anything else that has the greatest reward-lowest effort ratio in life. You just need to know a couple of things. For the sake of simplicity, here is Ars' four-step guide to having a four-star eclipse-viewing experience. Steps are listed in order of ascending importance.

Step 1: Identify the path of totality. This is where the total solar eclipse will be visible on April 8. The National Solar Observatory has a good map here. Click on the map to get exact timing. It's time and place sorted.

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