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When will the 2024 solar eclipse be visible in Charlotte? What to know + how to watch

Charlotte Observer
A total solar eclipse is coming to North America in a few weeks, and it’ll be your last chance to see one here for a couple of decades.

The eclipse will happen on April 8 — and the next one visible from our continent won’t happen until 2044.

North Carolina isn’t in the path of totality, meaning the event will look like a partial eclipse in the state, but a good portion of the eclipse will be visible in Charlotte.

If you plan to watch it, you’ll need time to get ready. It’s not safe to just wander into the yard and look up for the two or three minutes it will be visible.

Here’s what you need to know before watching the eclipse.

When will the eclipse be visible in Charlotte?

According to a database on, the eclipse will be visible in Charlotte at approximately 1:54 p.m. on April 8.

At its peak, 83% of the sun will be covered, which will happen just before 3:12 p.m., according to the site.

That site also has a simulator that allows you to see what the eclipse will look like from a particular city from start to finish, with an increasingly greedy Cookie Monster-sized bite disappearing from the sun’s circle as the eclipse progresses.

How to view the eclipse safely

Looking at the sun without proper protection, however briefly and however much of it is blocked by the moon, can cause permanent damage to the retina. Don’t be tempted, even for a second.

▪ NASA says, “Viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

▪ Instead, dig out the glasses you got for the last total solar eclipse visible from North Carolina, in August 2017, or the ones you had for the eclipse last October, which you didn’t get to use because it was too cloudy to see much.

▪ Or get some new ones, being careful to order ones that comply with international standards. These are thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses, which won’t protect no matter how many extra pairs you put on.

The American Astronomical Society and others list vendors selling safe solar viewers. The glasses often sell out before the eclipse, so order early.

Remember that the pinhole camera is a way to view the eclipse without looking at it. If you use this method and aren’t wearing protective glasses, look only at the image cast onto the cardboard, never at the actual sun.

News & Observer reporter Martha Quillin contributed to this story.

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