Final pregame thoughts on Monday’s eclipse, from Astronomy Magazine’s Dave Eicher

Here's hoping for clear skies during the 2024 total solar eclipse.
By | Published: April 4, 2024

On Monday, April 8, many of us astronomy enthusiasts will witness a total eclipse as it washes over North America, from Mexico in the south through Texas, the Ohio Valley, and up into Canada. I wish you the best with eclipse chasing, and remember to use proper filters in front of both eyes and optics except for that brief period of totality itself.

Weather is an unpredictable thing, by and large. The early outlook does not appear to be promising for clear skies in many areas. But we should have a more realistic assessment by this weekend, Saturday and certainly by Sunday.

If we see it, a total eclipse is one of the most spectacular visual events in nature. Since the time of Johannes Kepler in the early 17th Century, the motions of solar system bodies have been known pretty precisely. But it still overawes people who see the alignment come together and the magic of basking in the Moon’s shadow.

Astronomy will have four editors in the field covering the event. We will bring you the fullest and quickest coverage we possibly can. I’ll be at a big public event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field, with perhaps as many as 10,000 people in attendance. I’ll give a thorough talk on the event in the auditorium there on eclipse morning. This event is sponsored by the museum, our good friends at Celestron (who will have scopes on hand), and the folks from The Weather Channel.

I’ll be live on The Weather Channel during the 9 AM hour CDT on Sunday, and from 6 AM CDT onward, including during totality, on eclipse day, led by the charming meteorologist Alex Wilson. Moreover, later on eclipse day, I’ll be live on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, during the 5 PM CDT hour. Unless, of course, we are trying to witness the eclipse in Dallas underneath thunderstorms. In that case, all this coverage may be scrubbed down to practically nothing.

Our Senior Editor Alison Klesman will be in another spot in Texas, in Kerrville, and will be hoping for clear skies there. Senior Editor Mark Zastrow and Associate Editor Daniela Mata will witness the eclipse from a site near Torreón.

We’ll hope for widespread clear skies, and please do send your photos of the eclipse and reports of your adventures to us at the magazine, to Our Photo Editor, Mark, will be happy to be deluged!

It will be a long time until totality spreads across the United States again. Let us hope for the best!