On Monday, April 8th, 2024, a once in a lifetime astronomical event occurred across North America: a total solar eclipse. Taking place when the moon passes between the Sun and Earth, sky watchers got to bathe in the shadow it cast on our planet and experience a breath-taking display of nature’s grandeur. 

It began over the South Pacific Ocean, its first location in continental North America as Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 100:07 a.m. PDT. As the eclipse progressed, its path of totality moved across North America, offering a rare and awe-inspiring spectacle to those fortunate enough to witness it. People flocked from all over the world to witness this event, which would be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2024.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely blocks the face of the Sun, casting a shadow on the Earth. Within the path of totality, the sky darkens, resembling dawn or dusk. People described it as an eerie yet captivating experience. Weather permitting, viewers along the path of totality were able to witness the Sun's corona, the outer atmosphere usually obscured by the Sun's bright face.

Witnessing a total solar eclipse requires caution. Viewers came dressed in protective clothing and sunscreen, and specialised eye protection. Looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection can cause severe injury, except during the brief total phase of the eclipse - totality. Here many abandoned their glasses, taking a few moments to observe the world around them. Rare stars and planets appeared in the darkened sky and visitors were treated to a 360-degree sunset. The air temperature dropped, and the area flooded with an eerie silence. 

As we bid farewell to the last total solar eclipse of 2024, let us cherish the memories and look forward to the next opportunity to witness the wonders of our universe. Until 2044, let's continue to marvel at the beauty of the cosmos and the intricate dance of celestial bodies that captivate our hearts and minds