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Mexico prepares for total solar eclipse on April 8

The excitement is building for first major eclipse of the sun in North America since 2017, visible from Mexico, 14 U.S. states and southeastern Canada on Monday, April 8.

pg1c copyThe new moon will cover 100 percent of the sun as viewed from a narrow path stretching from the state of Sinaloa through the United States to Newfoundland, Canada.

Good viewing of the total eclipse is likely to be affected by climatic conditions, and predicting the weather a long time in advance is almost impossible. Mexico offers the best chance of clear skies on April 8, with Mazatlan being a reasonably safe choice of location. The total duration of the eclipse as seen from Mazatlan will be four minutes 20 seconds, beginning at 11:07 a.m.

The longest period of totality—when viewers will be able see an eclipsed sun for four minutes 28 seconds—will occur at Nazas near Durango. After that point the moon’s shadow lengthens and narrows, reducing to a maximum totality of two minutes 52 seconds as the path exits North America in far Eastern Canada. 

Most of North and Central America will experience a partial solar eclipse. The percentage of the sun that is covered as viewed from Guadalajara and its surrounding areas will be 91.4 percent.

In Guadalajara, the first contact (the moment the edge of the moon touches the edge of the sun) will begin at 10:50 a.m. The deepest point of the eclipse, when the sun is at its most hidden, will be at 12:09 p.m., and the partial eclipse will end at 1:33 p.m. (a total length of two hours, 42 minutes).

Experts in the field point out that partial eclipses—even those covering 99.9 percent of the sun—are not the same experience as a total eclipse.

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