Four state parks in Pa. will be in

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The Northwest corner of Pennsylvania will be in what is called the “totality” zone for the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse.

The eclipse – when the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s light for almost 4 minutes – will sweep from Texas to Maine.

The path includes Erie, Crawford, Warren and Mercer counties in the corner of the Keystone State.

Totality will happen in Erie for 4 minutes between 3:16 p.m. and 3:20 p.m. The entire time period will be from about 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (April 8 is a Monday, by the way, so you should put in a request now to take the day off.)

To see sun fully eclipsed by the moon, you will have to be in the totality path, which is about 115 miles wide.

Other areas of Pennsylvania, while not in “totality,” will be able to see a partial eclipse. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the rest of Pennsylvania “lies within the 90 percent coverage range, so there will be excellent viewing across the state, weather permitting, even outside the path of totality.”

DCNR said four state parks lie within the path of totality – Presque Isle in Erie, Erie Bluffs, Pymatuning in Crawford County and Maurice K. Goddard in Mercer County.

If you are planning to head to one of those state parks to see the eclipse, DCNR has some recommendations.

Keep in mind that the parks are expected to be crowded on April 8 and they will have to close if they reach capacity.If you want overnight accommodations, make your reservation now. Available spots are already filling up.Plan to arrive early and stay late because of the congestion that is expected.Have a second viewing location in mind just in case your chosen park reaches capacity and needs to close.Park only in the designated areas.Keep in mind that many parks and forest have little to no cell phone reception and others may not work properly during the eclipse.Check the weather forecast before you arrive so you can be prepared for a variety of conditions.Bring appropriate gear including solar-safe glasses, water, snacks, sunscreen, clothing appropriate for the weather, sunscreen, bug spray and something to sit on.

For those that want to look at the eclipse, it is vital to protect your eyes.

“Viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury,” NASA said.

NASA says people should use safe solar viewing glasses, called eclipse glasses, a handheld solar viewer.

Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the sun.

Safe solar viewers, NASA said, “are thousands times darker” and comply with international safety standards.

The only time it will be safe on April 8 is during the brief period when the moon “completely obscures the sun’s bright face – during the brief and spectacular period known as totality.”

If you do not have solar eclipse glasses, you can use an indirect viewing method such as a pinhole projector, “which has a small opening (for example, a hole punched in an index card) and projects an image of the sun onto a nearby surface. With the sun at your back, you can then safely view the projected image. Do not look at the sun through the pinhole.”

READ MORE: With eclipse on horizon, Lake Erie Wine Country plans once-in-a-lifetime event

The moon partially blocks out the sun as a solar eclipse is seen through the clouds over the Gateway Arch Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in St. Louis. Another total solar eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024, sweeping across the US from Texas to Maine. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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