Total solar eclipse live stream: How to watch free online, with NASA or from anywhere

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By now, you are probably very aware of the fact that a solar eclipse will cross North America on Monday, April 8. We’re down to the wire here, so let’s talk about logistics: How do you watch the solar eclipse, regardless of where you are?

If you’re in the path of totality, you should already have your plans

Are you in, or planning on being in, the narrow strip of totality that crosses North America? If you have to travel a long distance, then you should already have your plans set, as lodging booked up months ago.

If you’re just outside the path of totality and are wondering whether there’s a big difference between 99% and 100%, the answer is: Yes, there’s a huge difference, and yes it’s worth that extra effort to see it. (And if you’re trying to decide whether to change your plans based on the dismal cloud cover forecast for much of the path of totality, best of luck.)

  • Eclipse map: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio | The 2024 Total Solar Eclipse 

If you are planning on getting in the car and driving the day of the eclipse, here are a few things to keep in mind. First, fill up your gas tank the day before, and put a cooler in your car with food in it for the day. (Yes, there were absolutely gas shortages and restaurants out of food during the 2017 eclipse, especially in small towns.) 

Allow plenty of time to get to where you’re going, and if you happen to be in the car when totality hits, don’t just stop your car—there’s an increase in car accidents during totality because of people doing exactly this. And if you want to beat traffic on the way out, leave as soon as totality is over, versus waiting around for an hour.

NASA is running eclipse events all across the United States. If you’re interested in participating in one, you can find the complete search for local events on the agency’s eclipse website.

Remember that wherever you end up, take proper eye protection with you, and never look at the sun without them. Unless you’re in the brief period of totality, it’s not safe to take off your glasses during the eclipse. If you don’t have eclipse glasses, check with your local libraries, schools, and even gas stations and drugstores. 

If you aren’t in the path of totality, watch a partial eclipse and follow online

If you’re not in the path of totality, it’s still worth watching this eclipse. With proper eye protection, you will be able to see the moon partially obscure the sun in the sky. And you can follow along online as well. 

NASA will be broadcasting its official 2024 solar eclipse coverage from 1 p.m. ET to 4 p.m. ET on Monday, which will include expert commentary and on-location coverage of the eclipse. You can watch on NASA+ or the organization’s YouTube channel.

If you’d like a quieter feed, NASA also has a telescope livestream courtesy of the organization’s partners and collaborators. It will show video from different telescopes across the path of totality and show the sun in various wavelengths of light. You can watch that on YouTube. 

Want to see what the eclipse looks like from the edge of space? The Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP) has links to a bunch of YouTube pages that will offer stream views from that vantage point.

Finally, NASA will launch three sounding rockets into the moon’s shadow during the eclipse to study changes in the ionosphere. If you’d like to watch those launches from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, you can see that on YouTube as well.

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