It doesn't happen very often, but a total solar eclipse is happening on April 8th, and we now know the best place to see it here in Minnesota.

Solar eclipses are fairly rare things. Even though we were treated to one back on August 21st, 2017, after the solar eclipse passes this year, it'll be a while before the next one comes our way in Minnesota: NASA says the next total solar eclipse that will be viewable from the continental U.S. won't happen until August 23rd, 2044.

There are several differences between the 2017 eclipse and this year's event. NASA noted that the path of totality – where you can see the moon totally block the sun – will be much wider during the upcoming total solar eclipse than it was during the eclipse in 2017.

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NASA also said that the 2024 eclipse will also be a bit easier to see. In 2017, the eclipse path ranged from about 62 to 71 miles wide, but this year, the path over North America will range between 108 and 122 miles wide and will also pass over more cities and densely populated areas than the 2017 path did.  An estimated 31.6 million people live in the path of totality this year, compared to 12 million in 2017.

Minnesotans gathered on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, MN during the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse. (CSJ/TSM-Rochester, MN)
Minnesotans gathered on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, MN during the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse. (CSJ/TSM-Rochester, MN)

While Minnesota is not in the path of totality for the eclipse this year, we *will* be able to witness a partial eclipse here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, as will just about every other place in the country. NASA notes that every contiguous U.S. state, plus parts of Alaska and Hawaii, will experience at least a partial solar eclipse.

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So where's the best place to see the solar eclipse here in Minnesota? Take your pick: Most of the North Star State except for the northwest corner will be able to see the partial eclipse on April 8th. The very southeastern corner of the state will have a slightly better view. Time and Date has a cool interactive map HERE that allows you to customize the settings to your specific location for ideal viewing.

Courtesy Time and Date

For instance, according to Time and Date, in St. Paul, you'll be able to view the partial solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, between 12:40 pm and 3:14 pm, with the maximum occurring at 2:02 pm. Of course, that's if the sky is clear-- which Time and Date says could be a problem, as cloudy skies and light showers are in the long-range forecast.

For more tips about where to view the partial solar eclipse in Minnesota this year, click HERE. And keep scrolling to check out some other natural wonders that are also visible in the Bold North, no matter which day it is!

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