/ Get Your Eclipse Glasses Ready! Domo’s Guide to the 2024 Eclipse.

When the last solar eclipse happened in 2017, my brother headed to the path of totality, where he could see the moon totally eclipse the sun. He came away with amazing stories to share.  

I stuck around in the Bay Area but still got to experience some of the wonder with crescent shadows of from the partial eclipse descending on the streets. That eclipse left me in awe, knowing there could be an even more incredible experience.  

The next solar eclipse will happen on April 8, 2024, when the path of totality stretches up from western Mexico through the Midwest into New York and eastern Canada. Luckily for me, the path catches the southeastern corner of Oklahoma, where my brother-in-law has a cabin. (It’s especially lucky as AirDNA data shows that over half of US cities under the eclipse’s path are fully booked the night of April 7.)

So, for several years, we’ve been planning this trek to observe it—and this time, I’m ready.  

I’m sharing everything I’ve learned about solar eclipses for this month’s Domo on Data blog. For me, being prepared means not only packing the right equipment—like my DSLR camera and eclipse glasses—but also understanding the context and data around eclipses. 

Whether you’re chasing totality like my crew or taking in the wonder at home, we hope you enjoy our eclipse dashboard! 


The Total Eclipse Prep Dashboard 


Average Total Eclipses per Century 

On average, 62.9 total eclipses happen per century. Something that’s not in our data is a metric that shows if the eclipse is over a populated region—something that makes the April 8 eclipse stand out even more. This upcoming eclipse is rare because it’s over a relatively populated area of the world.  

Eclipse Type Frequency 

In our dashboard, you’ll see the data showing that total eclipses—when the moon fully blocks the sun—are rare compared to partial or annular eclipses. Note that this data set covers five millennia—thanks, NASA! 

For context, a partial eclipse is when the moon covers only part of the sun, and an annular eclipse happens when the moon covers the sun but is too far away to block all the light.  

The rarest type is a hybrid eclipse, when the eclipse shifts between annular and total as the moon’s shadow moves across the earth.  

Environmental Effects 

AccuWeather shared five things that will change in our surroundings when the eclipse occurs. They’ll be most pronounced for people in places where the eclipse is total.  

In our dashboard, we’ve captured several of these effects, including: 

  • 360-degree sunrise and sunset: You’ll see the colors of sunrise and sunset in every direction. 
  • Stars in the night sky: Since the moon will block the sun, you’ll be able to see the stars—always there, but usually hidden by the sun’s light. 
  • Sun corona: As the moon covers the sun, you will be able to see the sun’s corona, the hot gas that surrounds the sun.  
  • Visible comets: You might see a comet passing the earth around the time of the eclipse. 
  • Shadow bands: These are thin, wavy lines of alternating light and dark that ripple along plane surfaces (e.g., pavement) immediately before and after the eclipse. 
  • Animal behavior changes: The sudden darkness can confuse animals, and they may jump into their usual evening routines, like birds heading home to roost or  crickets starting to chirp. 

If you’re outside during the eclipse, you may notice the temperature change, the wind pick up, or a change in your perception of colors (called the Purkinje effect.)  


If you want to learn more about solar eclipses… 

If you’re like me and want to read up on the solar eclipse before it happens, these are a few of my favorite resources: 

Remember you should not look directly at the eclipse until full totality without proper precautions, like special eclipse viewing glasses. And one last disclaimer: While I’ll have my camera ready, you might consider putting your devices aside to experience the moment. Truly, it’s one of few in our lifetimes. Enjoy! 

Tags: Domo on Data

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