You Steal My Sunshine

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse in Sarasota

Will the weather cooperate? What percentage of totality—if any—will we get in Sarasota? What time does it all begin? We've got answers.

By Megan McDonald April 7, 2024

The "Baily's Beads" effect—during which the rugged topography of the the edge of the visible surface of the moon allows beads of sunlight to shine through in certain places—is seen as the moon moves over the sun during the total solar eclipse in 2017.

Unless you've been avoiding all media for the past few weeks, you're probably aware that a solar eclipse is happening this afternoon. And although Sarasota isn't in the path of totality this time—meaning we won't experience full darkness due to the moon blocking the sun—we will experience something called "a maximum partial eclipse," in which the sun will briefly become a smaller sliver. 

What else do you need to know about today's cosmic event? Read on.

The path of the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
The path of the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the sun. People located in the path of totality will see the sky darken and, weather permitting, may even see the sun’s corona, or the outer atmosphere, which is otherwise usually obscured by the brightness of the sun. 

What time will the eclipse start?

The eclipse will start at 1:42 p.m. EST, peak at 2:59 p.m. EST, and end at 4:13 p.m. EST.

How much of the eclipse will we actually see in Sarasota?

About 64 percent.

What will the weather be like?

"Partly sunny and beautiful," with a high of 84 degrees, according to AccuWeather. As far as cloud cover, AccuWeather's hourly forecast notes that skies will be "mostly sunny" during eclipse hours. Fingers crossed!

What do I need to watch the eclipse?

Above all, protective glasses. Never look directly at the sun during an eclipse. Says NASA: "Except for a specific and brief period of time during a total solar eclipse, you must never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, such as safe solar viewing glasses (eclipse glasses). Eclipse glasses are not the same as regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing the sun. You can only take your glasses off during the short time when the moon completely obscures the sun, known as the period of totality. If you don’t have eclipse glasses, you can use an indirect viewing method, such as a pinhole projector, which projects an image of the sun onto a nearby surface."

What are the metaphysical implications of the eclipse?

We break that down right here

When will the next total solar eclipse happen?

Not for another 20 years: August 23, 2044. 

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