The 2024 Solar Eclipse Is a Rare Event

The 2024 Solar Eclipse Is a Rare Event
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On Monday, April 8, 2024, millions in North America will see a rare occurrence. A total solar eclipse will travel from the Pacific Coast of Mexico, crossing Mexico, the United States, and Canada until it exits into the Atlantic Ocean. There are good reasons why the 2024 solar eclipse is a rare event.

If the sky is clear, people will see a partial eclipse over the entire United States. However, 40 million people live inside the 115-mile-wide (185-km) path where the eclipse will be in total, with 31 million of those in the United States. Millions more will travel to the path of totality for this rare experience. The 2024 solar eclipse is a rare event because of the width of the shadow and the population centers it will include.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, a time called the “new moon.” When the alignment is exact, the Moon will cast a moving shadow on our planet. The total eclipse on April 8 will be the longest in 100 years. It will also travel a path that will make it visible to more people in the United States than ever before. The last total solar eclipse to traverse the United States was in 2017. It lasted about two-and-a-half minutes in some areas, but this one will last longer, up to about four-and-a-half minutes.

The next total solar eclipse visible in the United States will be in 2033, but it will be visible only in Alaska. After that, there will be one in 2044, visible just before sunset in Montana and North Dakota. The next coast-to-coast total solar eclipse will be on August 12, 2045, going from California to Florida.

It’s easy to see why the 2024 solar eclipse is a rare event. It is also predictable. God has created an orderly universe that allows life to exist on this planet. This orderliness also enables us to study and learn from creation. It allows us to accurately predict eclipses hundreds or a thousand years into the future.

Eclipses are natural events. Despite what you might hear, they are not supernatural prophetic signs of Christ’s return or catastrophic world events. They are evidence of God’s creative power. Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead…”

If you haven’t seen a total solar eclipse, you have missed a rare treat. Even 99% cannot compare to totality. Tomorrow, we will explain the difference between experiencing a partial and total eclipse.

— Roland Earnst © 2024

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