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How much of the solar eclipse will be visible in Montana?

Posted at 9:26 AM, Apr 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 11:26:39-04

HELENA — On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross parts of North America, with the moon passing between Earth and the sun, completely blocking the face of the sun.

The path of totality will stretch from Texas to Ohio and across northern New England. A 108-mile-wide shadow will be drawn across this part of the country, with the total eclipse lasting upward of four minutes in this area.

Totality reveals the true celestial spectacle, the diamond ring, the sun's corona, strange colors in the sky, stars becoming visible, and even a brief drop in temperature. This is why thousands of people will be traveling to the path of totality.

Here in Montana, the northwest corner of the state will only see about a quarter of the sun eclipsed. Southeast Montana will have approximately half of the sun's disk blocked by the moon.

The eclipse will begin at approximately 11:40 a.m. in Montana, with maximum at 12:48 p.m., and ending just before 2 p.m.

Only people in the totality path can briefly and safely look at the eclipsed sun, when the moon completely blocks the sun's bright disk.

To safely view the partial eclipse here in Montana, you must have special solar glasses.

Many libraries, astronomical societies, and the Montana Learning Center often sell the special glasses. Little tricks like viewing shadows through a colander or making a pinpoint projector with paper or cardboard can help safely experience this phenomenon.

The next total solar eclipse over the continental United States won't happen for another 20 years, until August 23rd, 2044. But northeast Montana will be in the path of totality. See you then.

In August 2017, the Treasure State experienced near-totality of a solar eclipse, with about 90% of the sun disappearing: