‘Deep partial’ solar eclipse coming April 8, greatest coverage since 1984

A total eclipse of the sun will be visible across the country on Monday, April 8, during which greater Ambler will see a partial solar eclipse reaching over 90 percent of totality.

In our area, the moon will begin its path across the sun at 2:08pm and will move from south to west for nearly two-and-a-half hours, until 4:35pm.

During that time, the sky will get noticeably darker, brighter stars will be visible and the sun will be reduced to a crescent. 

The mid-eclipse time—when the highest coverage will occur—will be at 3:23:42pm. This is the greatest solar coverage the region has seen since Memorial Day weekend in 1984, which was at 95 percent. A partial eclipse happened August 21, 2017.

With 10 percent of the sun’s surface exposed, it’s still too bright to view without eye protection, officials at the Franklin Institute said. Use approved, certified eclipse viewing glasses to protect your eyes while viewing the eclipse.

“If weather conditions prevent direct viewing in our region, try one of these websites that will carry the eclipse live from points along the eclipse path: exploratorium.edu/eclipse, or greatamericaneclipse.com,” the institute said.

In related news, a “devil comet” is set to pass by Earth for the first time in 71 years and may be visible during the eclipse, according to NASA.

Officially named comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, the cryovolcanic comet is known as the “devil comet” due to its formation of two “horns” made up of ice and gas and periodic explosions.

“Comet 12P’s April 21 perihelion passage will be only two weeks after the April 8 total solar eclipse, putting the comet in planet Earth’s sky along with a totally eclipsed sun,” the agency said.

For a full overview of April’s solar eclipse, check out NASA’s eclipse website.

Image credit: Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com | Photo: Franklin Institute