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Eclipse chaser reveals where he'll view April 8 total solar eclipse

A man who has traveled the world and developed solar eclipse maps shares tips to ensure the best viewing experience.
Posted at 2:36 PM, Mar 08, 2024

Some describe viewing a total solar eclipse as a "once-in-a-lifetime moment." But eclipse mapmaker Michael Zeiler has traveled the world to see eclipses.

While a total solar eclipse may occur at a single location once in a lifetime, they can occur once every few years somewhere on Earth. 

When the eclipse on April 8 occurs, Zeiler said he plans to travel to Fredericksburg, Texas. He chose the small Texas town for several reasons. 

"The reason we chose Fredericksburg is because it's got pretty good weather prospects," he said. "It's right in the center of the path, but another key factor about Fredericksburg is its six highways radiating out of that gem. So if eclipse morning presents patchy clouds, we've got six directions that we could choose to relocate."

Unique ways to view the total solar eclipse coming in April
NASA's 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Map

Unique ways to view the total solar eclipse coming in April

The total solar eclipse will be visible from more than a dozen states, and the next one won’t happen for 20 years.


He said for those hoping to see next month's eclipse, being mobile is your best bet. He said he is prepared to drive several hundred miles to get the best possible view. 

Having a good road network will be key. Although 31 million people directly live in the path of totality, over half of the U.S. population lives within 250 miles of the eclipse. 

It's an experience unlike any other. 

"People will go absolutely crazy during totality because it's so unlike anything else you've ever seen in your life," he said. 

Zeiler said it's not too late for Americans to make plans to see next month's eclipse. Although many hotel options within the path of totality are booked, he said finding a spot just outside the path of totality is possible. 

He also recommends buying eclipse glasses now. Although viewing a solar eclipse during totality is safe with the naked eye, without glasses, viewers won't be able to view the buildup to the big moment safely.