Marketing and Social Media Specialist
Have you heard? There’s a total solar eclipse happening this year on Monday, April 8. What better way to spend a Monday than by being plunged into darkness by the moon’s orbit!
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is positioned between Earth and the sun and casts a shadow over Earth. A solar eclipse can only happen during a new moon, when the moon is between the sun and Earth. However, it doesn’t happen every new moon – the sun, moon and Earth need to align just right for a total solar eclipse to happen.
It’s a rare event — the last total solar eclipse in Ohio was in 1806, 218 years ago, and the next one will occur in 74 years, in 2099! Only 21 total solar eclipses have crossed the lower 48 states in the entire history of the United States.
Fun fact: in areas of 100% totality, it will be dark enough that nocturnal wildlife may wake up, thinking that it’s nighttime, and non-nocturnal wildlife might think it’s time to head to sleep! However, in areas in less than 100%, even if it’s just 99%, it won’t get that dark, and it will feel more like a cloudy day. Check out which parks will experience a 100% total eclipse below:
How to view the solar eclipse
You may be wondering, how will I be able to see this solar phenomenon? Our best advice is to just walk to anywhere you can see the sun around 3pm on April 8. The path of totality will pass over Prairie Oaks and Glacier Ridge Metro Parks and last about four minutes. If you’re not in the central Ohio area on that day, check out the path of totality from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) below to see when your best chance of viewing the eclipse will be.
Keep in mind that Ohio skies can be pretty cloudy in April. Clouds are less likely the further south you go, so people in Texas are going to have the best odds for a cloudless day!
Safety is our number one priority when viewing a solar eclipse. Looking directly at the sun is not recommended. Specialized eye protection, like eclipse glasses or a pinhole viewer, are needed to view this cool occurrence. Learn more about how to view a solar eclipse safely here.
What to know about watching the solar eclipse at Metro Parks
You’ll be able to see the solar eclipse from any of the Metro Parks! We welcome any and all visitors, but ask that you keep in mind the following:
- The rangers are there for your safety! Follow their directions.
- Park only in designated areas. Once an area is full, it will close. Saving parking spaces will not be allowed. We highly recommend walking, biking or carpooling!
- If a park reaches capacity, rangers will close the gates.
- Bring food and water! Alcohol is not permitted on park property.
- Plan ahead: check the weather beforehand to know the best way to prepare for the day.
- Dogs are welcome in all dog-permitted areas. Please keep them on a leash at all times.
- Come early and stay late. All Metro Parks are open at 6:30am, and close at either dark or 10pm, depending on the park. Hours for each park can be found on our website. Overnight camping is not permitted.
- Park rules and phone numbers are posted on our website, and at various locations in each park.
Keep an eye out for updates right here as we get closer to April 8!