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The Atmosphere During a Solar Eclipse

December 28, 2023

We are the only planet, that we know of, where a solar eclipse occurs. And even then — it’s still spectacular we’re able to experience this phenomenon.

Why?

Because the Earth is four times bigger than the Moon. The Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun. And the Sun is 400 times farther away from the Earth than the Moon. That means if we could drive into the solar system, it would take about 177 years to drive to the Sun.

Now, add in the 5-degree tilt of the Moon’s orbit plus the fact Earth is always rotating means the feasibility that a total solar eclipse lining up right over Toledo is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

And, luckily for us, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is happening on April 8, 2024, at 3:12 pm.

The moment totality hits, the atmosphere around us completely changes. The moon fully covers the sun within seconds and a sudden dawn or dusk-like darkness falls over the sky, parting clouds and allowing stars and planets to become visible from where we stand on Earth.

As you watch, you’ll feel the air around you cool as the winds quiet and temperatures drop.

Animals begin to think it's bedtime causing many crickets and birds to start chirping. Chickens might settle into their coops, bees could return to their hives and horses and cows will move toward their stables.

As the daytime darkness envelops us on Earth, you will hear a typical dusk serenade of songbirds as they retire to bed. But as the sky lightens again, they’ll interpret the experience as morning and begin their dawn chorus.

Totality only lasts 1 minute and 54 seconds in Toledo. As it ends, the atmosphere and weather will change back to daytime within seconds.

When that happens, make sure to take a moment to look up at the sky and all the people around you. Think about how big the universe is. How small we are in comparison. And how lucky we are to be the only planet to experience a solar eclipse and the eclipse environment.