Millions of people will be able to watch, on Monday April 8, the yellow orb of the Sun being nibbled by the shadow of the Moon, then completely hidden for a few minutes. A rare total solar eclipse, which still arouses wonder and will plunge more than thirty million people into darkness in broad daylight, according to NASA, in North America.

On its path, which will sweep after the beaches of Mexico the plains of Texas, the state of New York and Montreal, the tourists who have come for the occasion are already preparing for the event, armed with special glasses. A safety instruction hammered out for weeks by the American authorities, to prevent the risk of serious damage to the eyes.

“Eclipses have a special power. They touch people, who feel a kind of reverence for the beauty of our universe,” notes Bill Nelson, the head of NASA, who will broadcast a three-hour live video, from several locations, with telescope images and comments of experts.

Hotels full, schools closed

Total eclipses only occur when the Moon is placed exactly between the Earth and the Sun and this star, 400 times smaller than the Sun, is also exactly 400 times closer to the Earth, therefore at the right distance to temporarily block the light of our star in broad daylight. An event that will not be visible again from the United States before 2044.

In Mazatlan, a city on the Mexican coast among the first places from which the eclipse can be observed from noon local time (8 p.m. Paris time), the seaside is already teeming with tourists. Street parties are planned. All along the route, many hotels have been fully booked for months for the occasion, and monstrous traffic jams are expected. Many schools will be closed or will allow students to leave early.

Among the emblematic places where the eclipse will be visible are Niagara Falls, where the spectacle promises to be grandiose. On the Canadian side, the region has even declared a “state of emergency” to better cope with the influx of visitors. The eclipse will also be admired from the air: some airlines have planned flights along the path of darkness, for which tickets have been snapped up. However, the weather could spoil the party in certain regions. In Texas, it looks cloudy.