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How much of the solar eclipse will be visible in Montana?

Posted at 4:25 PM, Apr 02, 2024

HELENA — On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross parts of North America, with the moon passing between Earth and the sun, completely blocking the face of the sun.

The path of totality will stretch from Texas to Ohio and across northern New England. A 108-mile-wide shadow will be drawn across this part of the country, with the total eclipse lasting upward of four minutes in this area.

Totality reveals the true celestial spectacle, the diamond ring, the sun's corona, strange colors in the sky, stars becoming visible, and even a brief drop in temperature. This is why thousands of people will be traveling to the path of totality.

Here in Montana, the northwest corner of the state will only see about a quarter of the sun eclipsed. Southeast Montana will have approximately half of the sun's disk blocked by the moon.

The eclipse will begin at approximately 11:40 a.m. in Montana, with maximum at 12:48 p.m., and ending just before 2 p.m.

Only people in the totality path can briefly and safely look at the eclipsed sun, when the moon completely blocks the sun's bright disk.

To safely view the partial eclipse here in Montana, you must have special solar glasses. Several people have commented on where you might be able to get them:

  • Chad Donaldson: "Loves Travel Stop up by the airport had them."
  • Kate Misfeldt: "I saw them at Let's Play Games & Toys."
  • Jessica Anne: "I got a pair when I ordered a blackout slush float from Sonic."
  • Wendy Jones: "I saw them at Staples."
  • Rod Miller: "The Great Falls Astronomy Club will be handing out a limited number during the field behind Paris Gibson Education Center from noon until 2pm."

The next total solar eclipse over the continental United States won't happen for another 20 years, until August 23rd, 2044. But northeast Montana will be in the path of totality.

In August 2017, the Treasure State experienced near-totality of a solar eclipse, with about 90% of the sun disappearing: