Path of April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse is a drive away from Memphis. Here's what to know.

Want to see the total solar eclipse in 2024? You'll have to do a bit of driving.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada, NASA said. While West Tennessee isn't in the path of the eclipse, you could potentially drive to the path of totality from Memphis.

NASA released details for the total solar eclipse happening in April. According to NASA, the total solar eclipse will pass over parts of Mexico, the United States and Canada. The entire eclipse will last two and a half hours, but the real show of the eclipse will last for only three minutes.

Take a look where you can see it.

Need eclipse glasses?: A big solar eclipse is coming. Glasses you’ll view it through were likely made in Bartlett

What happens during a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse is when the moon is between the Earth and the sun and interrupts the sun's light. This is what creates the darkness that we see when a solar eclipse happens. People who are in the path of the sun's blockage will see the total solar eclipse while people off the path will experience a partial one.

Here in Memphis, we will experience a partial solar eclipse where the moon only covers part of the sun.

A total solar eclipse is seen on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon.
A total solar eclipse is seen on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon.

Where will the eclipse be?

The eclipse will pass over central/west Arkansas on Monday, April 8, 2024. For Memphians, the edge of the eclipse's path will be about an hour to an hour and a half away depending on where you choose to go.

Jonesboro, Arkansas is the closest city on the eclipse's path, however, it is on the edge of the course. Little Rock, though closer to the center of the eclipse's path, is 63 miles further away. The eclipse's center will pass over Russellville, Arkansas.

In order, the states that will be affected are Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Path of the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse.
Path of the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse.

What time is the eclipse?

There are five phases to the eclipse: partial beginning, totality beginning, maximum, totality ending and partial ending. In Little Rock, partial blockage begins at 12:33 p.m.; totality begins at 1:51 p.m.; maximum begins at 1:52 p.m.; totality ends at 1:54 p.m.; and partial eclipse ends at 3:06 p.m.

How to prepare for the eclipse: Find a pair of solar eclipse glasses

One of the biggest things to keep in mind with solar eclipses is safety.

NASA reminds skywatchers to practice safe viewing before and after the total eclipse: "Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing."

The last solar eclipse was in 2017, so most people have probably thrown out their solar glasses in that almost six-year gap. It is recommended to get glasses specifically made for solar eclipses. Regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing.

This being said, do not wear solar eclipse glasses when looking through a camera lens or telescope as it concentrates the solar rays and can cause serious injury.

Jordan Green covers trending news for The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached via email or on Twitter @_green_jordan_

USA Today contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse: Path is a drive away from Memphis