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​​​​2024 Total Solar Eclipse in Pennsylvania

One of nature’s awe-inspiring spectacles will occur in spring 2024 and will be visible in most of Pennsylvania!

On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse will cross North America from​ the Southwest to the Northeast.

During the solar eclipse, the moon will pass between Earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s light.

The path of the eclipse will cross through a portion of northwest Pennsylvania, including Erie, Crawford, Warren, and Mercer counties.

For nearly four minutes, the afternoon sky will go dark.

The track of the moon’s shadow across the Earth’s surface is called the “path of totality.”

To see the sun totally eclipsed by the moon you must be in the path.

Most of Pennsylvania lies within the 90 percent coverage range, so there will be excellent viewing across the state, weather permitting, even outside the path of totality.

REMINDER: You need to protect your eyes to view the eclipse safely. Looking directly at the sun with the naked eye, through an unfiltered camera lens, or with any kind of standard sunglasses may result in permanent eye injury!

Solar Eclipse in Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests

The path of totality will cross the northwestern portion of the state, touching Erie, Crawford, Warren, and Mercer counties.

Four state parks lie within the path of totality:

Visitors are welcome in all of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests to view the eclipse, or the view from your local municipal park or even your backyard will be excellent!

Many state parks will have eclipse educational programs​ leading up to the total solar eclipse on April 8.

If you do plan to visit a Pennsylvania state park on April 8, stay informed by regularly checking the alerts at the top of the web page for the park you plan to visit.

On the day of the eclipse, crowds are expected, especially in the northwest, and parks may have to close if they reach capacity.

Plan Ahead to View the Eclipse in a Pennsylvania State Park

  • Make a state park reservation​ -- many overnight accommodations in Pennsylvania state parks are filling up.

  • Come early and stay late -- large crowds are anticipated! You should plan around many other visitors sharing viewing spaces and traffic delays arriving, within parks, and departing.

  • Have a plan B location in mind -- if a park reach​es the maximum capacity identified for parking and safety, it may close entirely for the remainder of the event.

  • Park only in designated locations -- specific parking and viewing areas may be defined.

  • You may not be able to connect -- many parks and forests have little to no cell reception. Cell phone networks and internet service may not work properly in areas that typically do have service during the eclipse.

  • Check the weather -- you will be outside for an extended time period so prepare for varied conditions. Weather also will greatly determine the quality of the viewing experience.

What to Bring to View the Solar Eclipse

​​You could be outdoors for a minimum of two-and-a-half hours during the eclipse. Be prepared by bringing the following items:

  • CRITICAL! Solar-safe glasses, pinhole viewer, solar-safe viewing lenses for binoculars, cameras, or telescopes
  • Water
  • Snacks or a meal
  • Appropriate layers for sunny, cold, or rainy conditions and comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Camp chairs, a blanket, or other seating
  • Necessary medications

What Will I See During the Solar Eclipse?

Those within the path of totality will experience the total eclipse where the moon will block the sun’s face entirely. Ideally, this will reveal the sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona.

The sky will darken much like dawn or dusk for the short duration of the total eclipse. This will last for a maximum of three minutes and 41 seconds.

In general, the eclipse will begin around 2:00 P.M. on April 8 as the moon’s orbit begins to travel in between the sun and Earth, appearing as a dark shadow biting into the bright sphere of the sun.

Within the path of totality, the total eclipse phase will last from approximately 3:15 P.M. to 3:20 P.M. as the moon completely covers the sun’s surface.

The eclipse will conclude around 4:30 P.M.

A total solar eclipse interactive map gives more precise times for any location.

NASA has a video explaining a solar eclipse and more information on the NASA Eclipses web page.

On the day of the eclipse, you can view it live on the Exploratorium solar eclipse livestream and the Time and Date AS total solar eclipse web page​.

Protect Your Eyes While Viewing an Eclipse

Throughout most of the eclipse, it is not safe to look directly at the sun with the naked eye or any kind of standard sunglasses.

Protect your eyes by:

  • Using eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality

  • Using solar viewers that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard

  • You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the moon completely obscures the sun’s bright face -- during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. (You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.)

  • As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the sun.

Viewing through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope also requires specific solar filters to protect against eye injury.​​