Solar Eclipse 2024

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsChicagoans are gearing up to watch an astronomical phenomenon. On Monday, April 8th, 2024, the Chicago area will experience around 94 percent totality on Monday, April 8, 2024. A total solar eclipse won’t happen again in the U.S. for 20 years. “For those who want to experience the magic of a total solar eclipse, come to Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “My administration is diligently working to ensure that spectators safely experience this celestial event, while supporting southern Illinois’ local economy.” Chicago will experience a partial eclipse from 12:51 p.m. to 3:22 p.m., reaching peak totality (around 94%) at 2:07 p.m. After April 2024, the next total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. will happen in August 2044.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding residents and visitors to be prepared for heavy traffic on rural roads and highways in the hours after the eclipse, in southern Illinois and on interstates and major highways leading to and from Chicago, St. Louis and other cities. “Illinois is once again proud to lay out the welcome mat for some of the best viewing in the world for the upcoming eclipse, but we need your help if you are making special plans and traveling,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Traffic will be congested, with more much more activity in areas where people are congregating. Give yourself plenty of extra time and exercise special caution if you’re behind the wheel. We are proud to do our part at IDOT in creating another safe, memorable event.” IDOT shared a few important reminders for the day:

• If you’re in a vehicle, don’t stop along roads or bridges.

• Avoid parking on the side of the road or on the entrance and exit ramps to roadside safety rest areas.

• Be cautious. There will be a large number of pedestrians near roads.

• Don’t take photos or wear eclipse glasses while driving.

• Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

• Make sure you have a charged cell phone, a full tank of gas and bottled water.

• Plan to arrive early, stay put and leave late. That way everyone won’t leave at the same time.

A few Chicago organizations will be hosting viewing parties across the city:

Pullman National Historical Park: Park rangers and a NASA ambassador will be available to answer all your eclipse-related questions at this free viewing party in Pullman. Guests can see the eclipse through a solar filter telescope and enjoy themed snacks, interactive activities, and more. Children will be able to earn their Junior Ranger eclipse badge. A limited number of eclipse glasses will be available.

Adler Planetarium: Located on Chicago’s lakefront, the historic Adler Planetarium will be hosting an eclipse watch party for the public. This free outdoor event will include safe solar viewing through telescopes, free solar viewers, photo opportunities, and more. Afterward, get your tickets to explore space exhibits inside the museum. 

Museum of Science and Industry: Come view this amazing scientific spectacle at one of the world’s largest science museums. The Museum of Science and Industry will offer visitors a chance to view the eclipse through solar telescopes, watch a NASA livestream with a NASA ambassador, and take part in family-friendly activities. The eclipse event is included with your museum admission.

City Cruises Chicago: See the eclipse from out on the water with this unforgettable afternoon cruise on Lake Michigan. Enjoy a chef-prepared buffet, admire the city views, and take advantage of unobstructed views of the eclipse. City Cruises will also offer a BYOB Seadog cruise for those looking for a no-frills experience. Eclipse glasses will be provided.

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