MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - 1. We last had a total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 1979, but this is the first coast to coast eclipse since 1918.
The eclipse in 1979 was most visible in the Pacific Northwest and was not visible here in the Mid-South. So, the last total eclipse seen on the east coast AND west coast was nearly 100 years ago.
2. The next total solar eclipse will be in 2024, so most of us will have another chance to see one!
There will be a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. Little Rock, AR will be one of the areas that will see a total solar eclipse on that date and we will once again have a partial solar eclipse in Memphis.
3. Yes, you do have to wear special eclipse glasses. No, you can't just wear sunglasses.
Remember when you're mom told you to not look directly at the sun? There's a reason for that! Looking directly at the sun can damage your eyes. Therefore, you will need eclipse glasses that are ISO certified and from a retailer on this list. You can also purchase glasses at Lowe's, Best Buy, Kroger and Wal-Mart. There have been several companies selling FAKE glasses, so double check to make sure they are safe.
4. If the sky is cloudy, you likely would not be able to see much of the eclipse.
The closer we are to the date, the more accurate our forecast will be for the eclipse. Download the First Alert Weather App for weather updates and keep checking back with us on-air and online.
5. You can see the eclipse anywhere in the Mid-South., but some places are better than others.
If you want to see a TOTAL solar eclipse, you will have to travel to Cape Giradeau, MO (~2 hours north of Memphis), Paducah, KY (~3 hours north of Memphis) or Nashville, TN (~3 hours east of Memphis). Want to stay around here for the partial eclipse? You want to be in an open area without a ton of tall trees and buildings. Shelby Farms or a rooftop patio are both good options. The peak is at 1:22 p.m. here in Memphis, so you need to be outside with a good spot at that time!