Total Solar Eclipse 2024 in Cleveland Ohio

Total Solar Eclipse
April 8, 2024
Great Lakes Science Center

On April 8, 2024 a total solar eclipse will cross North America. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun.

Model of an eclipse

People viewing the eclipse from locations where the Moon's shadow completely covers the Sun - known as the path of totality - will experience a total solar eclipse. The sky will darken, as if it were dawn or dusk. Weather permitting, people along the path of totality will see the Sun's corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the Sun.

Great Lakes Science Center and NASA Glenn visitor center

Cleveland, Ohio is one of the major cities in its path and there will be a Total Eclipse Fest at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland which is also home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center.

Hundreds of thousands of people will want to view this once-in-a-lifetime experience. (The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806. The next one to pass over Ohio is predicted for 2099.)

At a Media Preview day on February 13, 2024 at the Great Lakes Science Center we spoke with Megan Landean who is the Eclipse Festival Project Manager. She began as a volunteer at the Great Lakes Science Center and is now leading the team for the 3 day event.

Megan Landean, Total Eclipse Fest Project Manager

Megan Landean holding card and instructions
to make your own pinhole device

Megan says they want to provide experiences for everybody so the Eclipse Festival will be free and open to the public all 3 days - April 6-8, 2024. Watch.

You probably know not to look at the sun without special eye protection and precautions. Nikki Welch, Public Affairs Specialist for NASA Glenn, stressed that safety is the #1 priority when viewing the eclipse or whenever looking at the sun. Nikki says that whatever you look through must meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.

Filters that are ISO 12312-2 compliant not only reduce visible sunlight to safe and comfortable levels but also block all but a tiny fraction of solar UV and IR radiation. There are a variety of glasses you can purchase but you have to beware of scammers or cheap, non-ISO 12312-2 products. Make sure you get your glasses from a reputable source. A great option is directly from NASA. NASA Cleveland is distributing free glasses at their events leading up to the eclipse.

Find out more information on eclipse safety precautions.

You also have to protect your camera (including your smart phone) from the eclipse. Sara Lowthian-Hanna, Lead Photographer at NASA Glenn, not only gave us safety precautions but some great photographer advice for shooting during the eclipse.

Sara Lowthian-Hanna

Sara Lowthian-Hanna

NASA Photographer's Eclipse Shooting Advice

Clarence Jones from the NASA Office of STEM Engagement spoke about a series of hands-on activities for kids from K-12 to get them engaged and excited about STEM using the eclipse such as:
  • An Eclipse Chalk Art project where kids can create chalk art and discover the Sun's corona.
  • A Solar Beads activity to teach about absorbing and storing the sun's ultraviolet energy.
  • A Rotor Motor activity that lets students create a rotary wing model - basically a helicopter!
Watch Clarence speak about the activities and the STEM opportunities.

As you may know, we have a Fun with Maps video show that looks at interesting maps around the world and shows how the geography affects history, politics and culture.

With the Total Solar Eclipse coming we were able to record a very special, once-in-a-lifetime, episode of Fun with Maps. It's our first look at a map that is affected by something off the surface of the planet Earth.

Chris Hartenstine

Chris Hartenstine

Chris Hartenstine from NASA's Public Engagement team showed us, with a globe and a model of the moon, how and why the eclipse will happen. Chris showed us the map of the path of the eclipse which is within a day's travel of most of the population of the United States. He called it a "very geographically friendly shadow path."

Lake Effect for viewing the eclipse

As Chris shows us, Cleveland has a very special viewing potential. He shows us on the map how Cleveland is on the south shore of Lake Erie, which is the shallowest of the Great Lakes. Lake Erie will still be very cold on April 8 so clouds may be pushed away from the 10 mile or so area just south of Lake Erie - which is Cleveland Ohio. This would make for exceptional viewing.

Look for the next episode of Fun with Maps to be back on the Earth!

Joan Katz Napoli, Vice President of Education & Community Programs, The Cleveland Orchestra, told us about a very special concert at the Total Eclipse Fest. The Cleveland Orchestra will perform a free, family concert at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 7.

Joan Katz from the Cleveland Orchestra

Joan Katz from the Cleveland Orchestra

The Orchestra will perform an "Out of this World" concert program of galactic proportions featuring Mozart's Fourth Movement from Symphony No. 41 ("Jupiter"), Missy Mazzoli's Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres), Debussy's Clair de lune from Suite Bergamasque (orchestrated by André Caplet) and Beethoven's First Movement from Symphony No. 5. No tickets required.

Astronaut at Eclipse event

Joan said that when NASA sent the two Golden Records out into space in 1977 aboard the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977, Beethoven's 5th was one of the songs included to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form who may find them.

Watch a short video about the Total Eclipse Fest.

Be sure to visit the Total Eclipse Fest at the Great Lakes Science Center page often for more information and updates. Maybe you too can be a Total Eclipse Fest Ambassador.

Eclipse Fest Ambassadors

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