National parks where you can see a total solar eclipse and dark skies

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A large swath of the country will have the opportunity to view a total solar eclipse next month.

For a few minutes on April 8, the moon will align perfectly with the sun, darkening the sky along the total path from Texas to Maine.

“It's an eerie experience to watch that shadow move across the sun,” said Jeff Goins, director of interpretation and graphics at the Sun. Capulin Volcano National Monument In New Mexico. “You can see the planets that are close to the sun. You can see the stars and everything.”

The unusual phenomenon, which he likens to an aurora, could confuse animals and cause traffic to back up, but it is certainly expected to dazzle onlookers.

“Everyone has seen pictures, but when you see it in person with your own eyes, it's that personal experience with something happening out there in the universe that hits you here.” He said, patting his chest.

Goins remembers everyone around him cheering and screaming during the last solar eclipse in 2017. He traveled to Grand Teton National Park for that eclipse and plans to travel again for this next one.

“There's a program in our park that day. It's going to be a partial eclipse here,” Goins said of Capulin Volcano. “But I'm an astronomy geek here, so I'll go to the middle.”

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Travelers will be able to see the total solar eclipse at 27 AU inside National Park System next month, but there are several parks that have amazing skies year-round.

Where can I see the eclipse in 2024?

that Interactive map The National Park Service, using NASA data, shows the following park units within the path of a total lunar eclipse.

Other sites like San Antonio Missions National Historical Park In Texas, William Howard Taft National Historic Site In Ohio, the Fort Stanwix National Monument In New York it lies outside the path of the total eclipse.

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Which national park has the best stargazing?

In most places, the total solar eclipse will last only three and a half to four minutes, according to NASA, but almost every night, the sky puts on a spectacular show in national park units across the country.

There is no single park best for stargazing; there are many. Here are some parks with night sky programs. Those with asterisks, such as Capulin Volcano, have them too International Dark Sky Association certificate.

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What happens in national parks at night?

Visitors who leave the gardens before sunset are missing out.

“There are birds that make noises at night. Deer are very active… A lot of predators will hunt at night. A lot of rodent activity happens at night. There are bats at night. There is all kinds of biological activity,” Goins said when he was working. Previously at Bryce Canyon, which hosts Moonlight risingHe liked to point out the evening primrose, which only blooms at night.

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Night is also the time when the sky comes alive.

“Go out, and you'll see a sky like you've never seen in your life if you grew up in a city,” he said.

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