May 26, 2024

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Solar Eclipse: Here's What You Need to Know

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Natural sceneryHere's what you need to know about the total solar eclipse

There will be a total solar eclipse on Monday, but it won't be visible from Switzerland – except in the stream for 20 minutes. Everything you need to know.

Daniel Graf
Van
A total solar eclipse is visible in the dark path.

A total solar eclipse is visible in the dark path.

20min/Jonathan Muller

  • A total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of North America on Monday, April 8.

  • In Switzerland, the next total solar eclipse is not predicted until 2081.

  • You'll still be live in 20 minutes when the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth on Monday, casting a shadow over parts of Earth.

There will be a total solar eclipse on Monday, although it will not be directly visible in Switzerland. This rare celestial phenomenon, when the Moon passes right between the Earth and the Sun and completely obscures the Sun, casts a dark shadow over some parts of the Earth. This phenomenon occurs because the orbits of the Earth and the Moon intersect in such a way that the Moon blocks sunlight.

A solar eclipse can be seen here

This total solar eclipse will primarily be visible in parts of North America, including Mexico, the United States and Canada. The trail stretches across the continent from Texas to Maine, with stops like Mazatlán in Mexico, Niagara Falls on the US-Canada border, and Carbondale, Illinois (see graphic).

In Switzerland you will wait in vain for a solar eclipse. Thanks to the 20min live stream and reporting from the US, you can still be live on 20min.ch and the app!

This is how a solar eclipse lasts

The moon's shadow travels 16,000 kilometers across the Earth, 6,400 of which is over land. The total duration of the eclipse is about 100 minutes, but the phase when the Sun is completely obscured by the Moon – called totality – lasts different lengths depending on the location. At some places it lasts more than four minutes.

A total solar eclipse is extremely rare

If we take a particular point somewhere on Earth, a total solar eclipse occurs there every 375 years. The next one in Switzerland is predicted for September 3, 2081.

This is how a solar eclipse occurs

This is due to the precise alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun. The Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, blocking all or part of the Sun's light. This special constellation causes the Moon's shadow to fall on Earth, completely obscuring the Sun when viewed from some points on Earth.

For viewers in Switzerland and other parts of Europe who missed the event, a partial solar eclipse in March 2025 offers the next chance to see at least part of this cosmic spectacle.

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