It’s not often that eclipses block out the sun and can be viewed from the US. The rare events happen very infrequently, with the last occurring in 2017 for parts of Ohio. Prior to the 2017 solar eclipse, the last that was partly visible in parts of Ohio and the surrounding country, was in February 1979. The last solar eclipse seen across the entire 48 United States happened in June 1918.
Amateur astronomers have another eclipse to look forward to that is little more than exactly three years away. On April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse will happen, producing a line of totality that will stretch from northern Mexico through portions of 15 states in the US and parts of Canada. Portions of Western and North-central Ohio will be in the path of totality.
Humans instinctively look at the sky during an eclipse to see what’s going on. Anytime you talk about an eclipse, you have to talk about the potential for damage to your eyes. You can’t look at the sun even during an eclipse without proper protection. Looking at the sun directly could cause permanently impaired vision.
With three years to go, skywatchers have plenty of time to acquire the correct glasses, which can be bought at numerous online retailers. A partial lunar eclipse will happen this year on May 26, 2021, beginning at 5:44 AM in some parts of the country. When the moon finally sets, it will be under one-third covered, so it’s not a complete eclipse.
The other good news is special glasses aren’t needed for viewing lunar eclipses. On May 21, the eclipse will happen at about 6:33 AM in parts of Ohio and similar local times in some other parts of the country.