When and how to watch the solar eclipse in Minnesota, where it’ll be about 75 percent visible

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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By Cathy Wurzer and Gracie Stockton

On Monday, the world will experience its first total solar eclipse in nearly seven years.

Minnesota won’t be in the path of totality, but an eclipse in any form is still “the most unearthly experience you can have on the earth,” according to longtime University of Wisconsin-La Crosse planetarium director Bob Allen. So where and when in Minnesota should you stop and look skyward to witness the cosmic event?

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Most of Minnesota will see a 75 percent partial eclipse, according to the Bell Museum. Southeastern Minnesota will see an 80 percent partial eclipse or more, Allen said. It will start around 1 p.m., peak around 2 p.m. and end by 3:10 to 3:15 p.m. Find the exact timing of the eclipse in your area on eclipse2024.org.

The most unearthly experience you can have on the earth.

In his five decades of studying astronomy, Allen has chased three total eclipses. He went to western Nebraska in 2017, Hawaii in 1991 and Manitoba, Canada, in 1979. He’s headed to Arkansas on Wednesday, hoping to witness a fourth.

“Partials are interesting,” he said. “It’s like getting in an airplane with a parachute and one person jumping out and the other staying in the plane and saying ‘I’m not gonna do it.’ It’s a different thrill.”

Partial solar eclipses like we will see in Minnesota occur when the moon passes between the sun and earth, but the three aren’t perfectly aligned, according to NASA. It creates a crescent shape with the sun partly covered. These eclipses turn day to dusk and can even trigger streetlights to turn on, Allen said.

Watch party at the Nature Center

The Jay C. Hormel Nature Center will be hosting a special viewing of Monday’s eclipse from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

A telescope with solar filter, solar viewing glasses, live stream of the event and more will be available.

This event is free.

— Austin Daily Herald