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Colorado's first solar eclipse in seven years is just weeks away. Here's what you can expect.

The state's next total solar eclipse won't happen again until 2045
Total solar eclipse passes over United States
Posted at 8:00 AM, Feb 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 12:05:10-05

DENVER — Colorado's first solar eclipse in seven years is less than two months away, and although the Centennial State won't get in on the full show, it's still going to be quite a sight.

The total solar eclipse happening over parts of the U.S. on April 8 will be a rare and stunning sight for those lucky enough to be in the direct path.

"The sun goes dark and that's when the stars come out," said Dr. Ka Chun Yu, the curator of space science at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Here in Denver, much like the last Solar Eclipse back in 2017, we will not be in the direct path of totality. That means at the height of the eclipse, we will only see just over 70% of the sun covered by the moon.

"So here in Colorado and in Denver, we will have what's known as a partial solar eclipse," said Dr. Yu. "You might think of it as the moon taking a bite out of the sun."

On April 8, the eclipse will start at 11:28 a.m. here in the Denver metro. It will peak at 12:40 p.m. with about 71% of the sun covered by the moon. It will last two hours and 26 minutes, and will end at 1:54 p.m.

Major cities like Austin, San Antonio, Dallas in Texas; Indianapolis, Ind., Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y., are in the direct path of totality.

Some of the areas in the direct path of the solar eclipse will experience totality for upwards of four minutes — that means the entire sun will be covered by the moon, making the sun corona visible.

"It's like the blackest hole in the sky that's surrounded by the sun's corona, its outer atmosphere," said Dr. Yu. "So, you have a ghostly wreath of light that surrounds the sun, and then all around you the horizon is sort of like a sunset or sunrise where you see blue sky at the horizon. It fades through the sunlight, sunset colors into the dark of the sky."

A total solar eclipse won't be visible in the United States again until 2044. That path of totality in that eclipse will only brush parts of Montana and North Dakota.

If you're waiting for a total solar eclipse to happen here in Colorado, you'll have to wait 21 years. That's when areas of Colorado south of I-70, will get to experience a total Solar eclipse, with the path of totality going right through our state. Just keep in mind that the chances of a total solar eclipse happening over you are pretty low during your lifetime.

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