What to know about the 2024 solar eclipse in Naperville

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After nearly seven years, a solar eclipse will again be visible in Naperville on April 8. 

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, obscuring the view either totally or partially. While Naperville won’t see totality, the sight will still be worth viewing. 

What will the solar eclipse look like in Naperville?

“You’ll see a really good deep partial eclipse. It’s going to get down to where about 94 percent of the surface of the sun is going to be covered by the shadow of the moon,” said Rick Gering, president of the Naperville Astronomical Association. “You’ll probably see some pinhole camera effects where the light comes through the spaces between leaves and bushes and the trees, and you’ll see little silhouettes of the crescent sun splayed across the ground.”

In Naperville, first contact will be visible around 12:50 p.m., with the maximum eclipse hitting around 2:06 p.m. The partial eclipse is expected to end around 3:22 p.m.

Solar eclipse safety

Before viewing the solar eclipse, remember to have the right materials. Be aware of buying fake glasses online and make sure to have a pair that complies with the international standard: ISO 12312-2.

Reusing a past pair of eclipse glasses is safe, as long as it’s in good condition.

“The glasses are pieces of plastic filter material attached to a paper frame. Eventually, that glue is going to loosen up and they’re going to start separating. So you want to make sure that the filter material is still firmly attached to the paper and that there’s no holes in it,” said Gering.

Eclipse glasses are not regular sunglasses. So never try viewing an eclipse with yours, no matter how dark they are or how many pairs you have on.

Ways to view the eclipse

Another way to enjoy the solar eclipse is through a telescope, which also requires proper material.

“What you want to look for is a filter that covers the entire front end of the telescope. The filter should be the first thing that the sunlight reaches,” said Gering.

Binoculars and cameras also require specific filters, so never use these to view the eclipse without them.

If you don’t have any of these materials, there are indirect methods to enjoy the phenomenon. 

With a cardboard box, a white sheet of paper, tape, and aluminum foil, you can make a homemade projector that displays the crescent sun. This should not be used to look directly at the eclipse.

If you can, be sure to safely enjoy this year’s solar eclipse as the next viewable one in the United States won’t be until Aug. 23, 2044, according to NASA.

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