Will Pittsburgh See a Total Solar Eclipse or Partial Solar Eclipse in 2024?

Experience the awe of the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, in Pittsburgh. Discover the path of totality, safety tips, and how to make the most of this celestial event.
Max View of the Pittsburgh, PA Solar Eclipse
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    Pittsburgh Solar Eclipse Overview

    On April 8, 2024, the city of Pittsburgh, PA will experience a solar eclipse. However, unlike some places, Pittsburgh will not see the Pennsylvania total solar eclipse, but a partial one. A publication on Time and Date explains that the event in Pittsburgh is labeled as a partial solar eclipse, even though on the same day, a total solar eclipse will be happening in other parts of North America.

    What Time is the Solar Eclipse in Pittsburgh?

    The solar eclipse phenomenon set to grace Pittsburgh’s sky initiates its celestial dance at 2:00 PM, gradually building up to a dramatic peak at 3:17 PM, at which point a brightness level of 0.971 is observed, almost masking the sun’s glory but not entirely. The sky’s theatrical display of cosmic artistry will then gently draw to a close by 4:30 PM. This captivating astronomical ballet, unfolding over a span of 2 hours and 30 minutes, promises to hold the city in a state of awe and wonder, as day momentarily turns into twilight, before culminating in the day’s eventual surrender to the impending night.

    Max View of the Pittsburgh, PA Solar Eclipse
    Source: TimeAndDate.com

    The Pennsylvania Path of Totality

    The path of totality is a term used to describe the route the total solar eclipse takes across the Earth. For this event, it stretches from Texas to Maine, covering several states in a total solar eclipse. However, Western Pennsylvania, where Pittsburgh is located, lies just outside this path, so it will see a partial eclipse instead. A report from WPXI confirms this, mentioning that to see the total solar eclipse, one would need to be located within the path of totality, which unfortunately doesn’t include Pittsburgh​.

    Pennsylvania 2024 total solar eclipse path map

    Pittsburgh’s Proximity to Totality

    A piece from Pittsburgh Magazine expands on how much of the eclipse Pittsburgh will see, stating that the city will experience about 95 percent totality. This means that 95 percent of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. Although this is a high percentage, it’s not a total solar eclipse, which requires 100 percent coverage of the Sun by the Moon. Interestingly, this coverage is higher compared to a previous solar eclipse, promising a more awe-inspiring view for the residents of Pittsburgh​3​.

    Geographical Discrepancy and Celestial Mechanics

    The difference in the eclipse experience between places is mainly because of their geographical location in relation to the central path of the eclipse. Places directly in this path will see a total solar eclipse, while places like Pittsburgh that are slightly off this path will see a partial solar eclipse. This event shows the amazing workings of celestial mechanics, with the Moon moving across the Sun, creating various visual effects depending on where you are located.

    Do I Need to Wear Eclipse Glasses?

    Yes, eye safety is super important when watching a solar eclipse. Despite Pittsburgh experiencing a partial solar eclipse, the Sun’s rays are still very strong and can cause serious eye damage or even blindness if looked at directly without proper protection.

    Solar eclipse glasses are made specially to help people safely watch the sun during events like this. They are not like regular sunglasses, which can’t protect your eyes from the Sun’s harmful rays during an eclipse. Eclipse glasses have solar filters that block out dangerous ultraviolet and infrared rays, and they also greatly reduce the sunlight, making it safe to watch the solar eclipse.

    It’s very important to wear eclipse glasses from the start of the eclipse until the end, no matter the phase or how much of the eclipse you can see. Make sure you, your family, and friends have certified eclipse glasses to safely enjoy this amazing celestial event and make it a memorable experience without risking your vision.

    when to use and take off solar eclipse glasses during a total eclipse

    Will You Go?

    The eclipse is expected to cross the Ohio-Pennsylvania border around 3:15 p.m. and then move over Lake Erie about five minutes later, as discussed in this Pittsburgh preparation guide. So, whether you’re in Pittsburgh or planning to travel a bit to view the total solar eclipse in Pennsylvania you’ll want to have your viewing spot secured by 3:15 p.m. at the latest.

    Preparing in advance, understanding the timings, and ensuring eye safety are crucial steps to fully enjoy this celestial display. The solar eclipse offers a unique moment of reflection on the awe-inspiring phenomena that occur beyond our earthly realm, bringing a touch of the extraordinary into our everyday lives.

    So, with eclipse glasses at the ready, the residents of Pittsburgh can look forward to joining millions across North America in witnessing this grand cosmic event.

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