Millions of curious people await the total solar eclipse in North America


by Brad Brooks, Jonathan Allen and Steve Gorman

April 8 (Reuters) – Millions of people will look to the sky this Monday in North America, from Mexico City to Montreal, to observe a total solar eclipse during which the moon will obscure the sun for more than four minutes according to the localisation.

The eclipse will be visible, weather permitting, along a path starting in Mexico and then crossing the United States and Canada.

Enthusiasts have gathered along the “path of totality,” including in the central Texas town of Fredericksburg, where the total eclipse will occur shortly after 1:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. GMT).

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With a maximum duration of 4 minutes and 28 seconds, this eclipse will last longer than the total eclipse experienced by part of the United States in 2017 with a maximum duration of 2 minutes and 42 seconds.

A partial eclipse will be visible in North America outside the path of the total eclipse.

About 32 million people in the United States reside in the path of the total eclipse, and federal officials predict another five million will travel to witness it.

Forecasters said it could be cloudy for much of the path of the total eclipse.

Michael Zeiler, an amateur cartographer and astronomer, says he will study satellite images in the hours before the eclipse and, if necessary, will rush to get in his car to a place where the sky should be clear.

He created the Great American Eclipse website, which contains maps and data about eclipses.

There will be approximately 80 minutes between the time the moon begins to cover the sun and the time of the total eclipse, then another 80 minutes to complete the reverse process.

NASA will broadcast the eclipse live on its website and YouTube channel.

(Reporting by Brad Brooks in Longmont, Colorado, Jonathan Allen in New York and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; French version Alban Kacher, editing by Sophie Louet)











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