So, you’re not seeing the eclipse today …

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Enlarge / Path of a solar eclipse totality in April, 2024. (credit:

Despite all the hype surrounding Monday’s solar eclipse—and it has become nearly inescapable—most Americans will not see the totality. This is unfortunate, because the Sun disappearing during the middle of the day is truly a moving experience. But if you’re not seeing it today, don’t feel too bad—you’re not alone.

Only about 12 million people live within the 110km-wide path of totality that runs across the United States, from Oregon through South Carolina. By various estimates, an additional 1.8 to 7.4 million people will travel into the path of totality to view the eclipse. This means only about 6 percent of the United States population will see a total eclipse on Monday.

So if you’re missing out, rest assured that most other Americans are, too. Also, you should start planning ahead. Because while it has been nearly a century since a total eclipse spanned the continental United States, we won’t wait that long again. Here’s a look at what lies ahead.

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