7 Steps to Get Ready for the Solar Eclipses in 2023 and 2024
The next solar eclipse is never more than a few years away. We might have just lived through our first total eclipse in a while, but that doesn’t mean you cannot get excited about the next one. Whether you can’t seem to forget the experience or missed out and want to make up for that fact, now is the time to start planning.
That might sound early. At the same time, remember: the rush on travel, products, and planning will inevitably start long before the actual eclipse. This is one of the few major events we can predict reliably years ahead, which helps everyone interested in seeing it plan accordingly. That planning results in cramped issues; eclipse viewing glasses were sold out in many stores months before the August 2017 event.
You don’t have to be part of that conundrum. Instead, start your planning process early. Here are 7 steps you can take right now to get ready for the solar eclipses in either (or both) 2023 and 2024. And yes – high quality solar eclipse glasses will be a crucial part of the puzzle.
1) Understand the Area of Impact
The very first thing to do should be making sure that you actually know where the solar eclipses will happen. That’s because every event is slightly different. The rotation of the sun and earth can cause slight changes that put the solar eclipse onto a different path.
The 2023 solar eclipse, which will occur on October 14, will ‘visit’ North America in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Other parts of the United States and Canada will not be able to experience the full eclipse, but still get at least parts of the spectacle. The same eclipse also passes through parts of Middle and South America.
That event will be followed on April 8, 2024 by another solar eclipse. This one passes from the south west to the north east of the United States, with its epicenter hitting states like Texas, Ohio, and New York. Of course, and once again, most of the country will see at least parts of this event.
Depending on which of the two you want to witness, consider the areas of impact in full. A total eclipse will hit a relatively narrow area. If you want to visit that area, think about any plans you want to make as early as possible.
2) Learn About Different Types of Solar Eclipses
With a basic understanding of locations, it’s time to better understand just what that term actually means. You probably immediately think about a full eclipse, where the entire sky gets dark. In fact, there are 4 total types of eclipses that you might be able to witness during both years:
- Partial eclipse: only part of the sun is covered by the moon. The light might get less, but it will never be completely dark.
- Annular eclipse: the sun’s center is covered by the moon, but its outer edge is still visible. The 2023 event will be an annular eclipse in most regions.
- Total eclipse: as the name suggests, the sun is entirely covered by the moon. This results in the total darkness so many people associate with a solar eclipse.
- Hybrid eclipse: a combination of multiple parts above. This type of eclipse is relatively rare. A total eclipse, for instance, may morph into an annular eclipse over time.
Each of these eclipses requires different preparations, and will hit different parts of the US at any given time during the above-mentioned dates. Understanding each type can help you better understand exactly what type you want to see, and where you need to go in order to see it.
The first two pieces of research naturally cumulate into the third. Now that you know the types of solar eclipses, as well as the areas in which they will hit, it’s time to make potential travel plans. You know where to go, now you should plan how to get there.
Of course, five years in advance, much of that effort will still be theoretical. You probably won’t be able to book a hotel or flight no matter where you want to go. So this step is not as formal as you might think at first.
Instead, focus on some of the intangible parts. See if you can combine the eclipse with a family vacation or a business trip. Look whether you can ‘chase’ the event to multiple locations. Look for other attractions in the area you want to watch it so you can fill out your trip.
It’s never to early to do this type of research, and make potential travel plans accordingly. That way, when it comes time to concretize the plans, you are ready to book and take the required time off.
4) Plan to Make it Memorable
Don’t stop at viewing the solar eclipse. After all, this might be the chance of a lifetime. So instead, plan to make it as memorable as you can be. Don’t plan on experiencing the event on your own, but rather invite friends and family to your trip.
It doesn’t have to end there. Though the next eclipse is still a few years away, make specific plans for how you’ll capture the moment. Photo or video can lead to incredible memories for both yourself and those who weren’t able to see it live.
5) Find Safety Expectations and Requirements
Making travel plans is never too early, and neither are safety considerations. Put simply, as beautiful as a solar eclipse can be, it’s also potentially dangerous for your eyes. Here’s what CNN had to say about the topic during the last eclipse:
Looking directly at the powerful brightness of the sun can cause damage to the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye. The retina may translate light into an electrical impulse that the brain understands, but one thing it can’t translate to your brain is pain. So even if you’re excited about the eclipse and think one brief glimpse at the sun before it completely hides behind the moon is worth it — it’s not. There’s no internal trigger that is going to let you know that you’ve looked at the sun for too long. Any amount of looking at it is too long. Even the smallest amount of exposure can cause blurry vision or temporary blindness. The problem is, you won’t know whether it’s temporary.
That, in turn, means you have to use specialty eyewear to protect your vision both temporarily and permanently. As 2023 gets closer, you will find plenty of merchants who claim to offer them. Now is the perfect time to actually find a high-quality pair.
6) Find the Right Solar Eclipse Glasses
When at all possible, don’t look for the cheap options you’ll find on every street corner when the event gets close. Instead, make the investment into eyewear that actually protects your vision. Our Solar Eclipse Shade 14 Glasses are the perfect example.
They are far too dark to be sunglasses. On the other hand, that makes them perfect for the next eclipse. The lenses block more than 99% of UV light, and 97% of IR radiation, making them perfect for even the brightest situations. It’s no coincidence that they’re ISO certified and actually usable for welding.
Of course, that’s just one of your many options. For now, the key is not to find the perfect pair right away, but to learn more about potential requirements you should be looking for or using as a baseline. If you need help in that process, and to learn more about keeping your eyes safe during the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses, contact us.
7) Start to Get Excited!
Finally, don’t underestimate the final piece of the puzzle. Yes, the next total eclipse may still be five years apart. But that shouldn’t stop you from the most important piece: getting excited about this event.
Solar eclipses are so popular for a reason. Beyond being a natural spectacle, they remind us of our place in the universe. The sun, as we all know, offers crucial protection, light, and warmth to everyone on earth. An event such as this shows what happens if we don’t have that protection, even for a second.
That, in turn, invites strong feelings of appreciation. It’s not unusual to see sheer, unadulterated euphoria and delight on people’s faces as they witness this natural light show and experience. And yes, it might still be five years until you will be able to have those same feelings yourself. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait that long.
Instead, get excited. Start reading about what it’s like, and what you get to experience. If you have experienced a solar eclipse in the past, look through your old pictures and video footage. In all the planning efforts, and attempts to find the right glasses, don’t lose sight on why you’re undertaking all this effort. Because we know one thing for sure: the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses will be well worth your preparation.