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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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ECLIPSE 2024: Your guide to Memphis’ (almost) total eclipse experience

Get ready, Memphis! On Monday, April 8, 2024, a spectacular solar eclipse will paint the sky. While we may not experience complete totality like nearby spots in Arkansas, we’re in for a treat – up to 95% of the sun will be covered by the moon!

Your Essential Eclipse Toolkit

Don’t play around with your eyesight — GET eclipse glasses. WEAR THEM. KEEP THEM ON!
  • Protect Your Eyes: The number one rule: NEVER look directly at the sun without special solar eclipse glasses. Regular sunglasses won’t cut it! These glasses have specialized filters to protect your eyesight. The Benjamin Hooks Library has eclipse glasses; check around retailers or online sellers as well.
  • Timing is Everything: In Memphis, the partial eclipse begins around 1:06 p.m. CDT. The moment of maximum coverage will occur at approximately 2:29 p.m. CDT.
  • Embrace the Eerie Darkness: Watch the shadows around you change, becoming crisp and sharp. The sky may dim, giving the day a twilight feel.
  • DIY Fun: Make a pinhole projector! Poke a tiny hole in a piece of cardboard, and project the image of the crescent sun onto another sheet of paper. It’s a safe and easy way for everyone to enjoy the show.

Learn more about the Science of the Eclipse

  • Famed Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson knows space. NBC Meteorologist Al Roker knows weather. Both are brilliant and if you like to watch smart black men talk ACTUAL science, check out the clip above from NBC News, where Tyson explains the basics of an eclipse as only he can.
  • For Kids: Both Tyson and Roker are not only smart, but they both can explain science to young people. Check out this extended clip produced by NBC News aimed at helping kids experience the eclipse. (Plus, anytime we can get more of these two brilliant brothers talking, sign us up!).

Where to Catch the Eclipse Action

  • Celebrate with the City: Keep an eye out for community viewing parties or events at local parks or the Memphis Zoo.
  • Your Backyard Observatory: Set up a picnic or lawn chairs at home and observe the celestial show with family and friends.
  • Take a Scenic Drive: If you’re up for an adventure, many towns in Arkansas, like Jonesboro, are within a short drive and sit directly in the path of totality. Make a mini-road trip of it!

Important Safety Reminders

  • Eyes on the Prize (Safely): Sunglasses are NOT a substitute for eclipse glasses. Only remove your eclipse glasses during the brief window of totality if you are within the path. For Memphis, keep those glasses on for the entire event.
  • No Eclipse Selfies: It’s tempting, but avoid looking at the eclipse through your phone camera or binoculars without special solar filters.

Get Hyped, Memphis!

This solar eclipse is a rare opportunity to witness the magic of the cosmos. Mark your calendars, stock up on eclipse glasses, and prepare to be amazed!

Additional Resources

For more on eclipse safety and paths of totality, check out:

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