Solar Eclipse 2024: When the sunlight disappears animals may act differently

Those who are blind or visually impaired will be able to hear and feel the solar eclipse on April 8.

ATLANTA — In less than two weeks, a total solar eclipse will travel across the United States. Georgia will see a partial eclipse.

For those in the path of totality for the solar eclipse on April 8, you may notice changes in the animals, especially when the sun dips, crickets may start to chirp.

“Animals respond as if the nighttime is coming. You know, that happens very quickly,” NASA scientist Robert Goddard said. “You’ll hear things like crickets will start to chirp. I’ve heard roosters crow sometimes. It’s just such a weird thing for our senses.”

The team at the Fernbank Science Center explain what people in the path of totality can expect, and what Georgia can expect to see that day.

“You’re going to see an eclipse that will max out around 85% of the sun being covered up. So, you’ll notice it’s a little bit darker, but not a whole lot of difference if you’re not looking for it at the time,” said Mark Lancaster with the Fernbank Museum.

This eclipse will be different than the one here in 2017 when the path of totality moved from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast.

This year’s eclipse moves from Texas to the Northeast. The path is also twice as wide.

If you’re planning to catch the partial eclipse here in Georgia, there are a few safe ways to do so, including those special viewing glasses.

“They’re paper glasses with these special filters that are many, many times darker than sunglasses,” Goddard said.

“Even looking at shadows on the ground, coming through trees or using a colander or even a rich cracker to get those really cool images,” Lancaster said.

While Georgia is not in the path of totality, we will see a partial eclipse here. And if you happen to miss the eclipse, the next one isn’t for at least another 20 years.

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