Total Solar Eclipse 2024: What You Need to Know

On April 8, 2024, Arkansas will experience a total solar eclipse in which the moon will pass between the Earth and Sun, and the moon will cast a shadow on us.

According to, the eclipse will begin at 1:45 pm in Arkansas, with the final exit of the moon's shadow from the state at 2 pm. During this time, the entire state will experience between 94-100% obscurity of the sun and that means it will look like nighttime during the middle of the day!

With Arkansas having a front row seat to this spectacular event, there are a few things you need to know to stay safe on eclipse day. As always, practice situational awareness. If you see something, say something!

Eye safety:
NASA has given the following important safety guidelines when it comes to viewing the total solar eclipse:

  • View the Sun through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality.

  • You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the Moon completely obscures the Sun’s bright face – during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. (You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the Sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.)

  • As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright Sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the Sun.

NASA advises finding solar eclipse glasses approved through this site:

If you don’t have proper eyewear, NASA suggests an indirect viewing method

Also, be mindful of your pets. Animals will be totally fine during the eclipse, eye-wise, but may exhibit more anxiety due to the strangeness of the event. However, they'll go back-to-back to normal as soon as their normal routine settles back in.

Skin safety:
Because most people will be viewing the eclipse outside, it’s important to remember that the Sun will be very bright, even during the phases of the eclipse. NASA said don’t forget to wear sunscreen, a hat and even protective clothing if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for a long period of time.

Travel safety:
Government officials are predicting thousands of visitors will be in Arkansas to view the eclipse. Plus, schools will be out and Arkansas are expected to travel within the state to find the ultimate viewing spot. This means that there will likely be significantly more cars on the roads. 

The Arkansas Department of Transportation has compiled a plan to handle the traffic. You can read their plan on NASA has recommended drivers to be prepared. They said it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in the car with things like a cell phone charger, jump cables and a map. You’ll also want to keep your gas tank full!

Need medical attention?

CHI St. Vincent is prepared to address any medical needs. If it’s an emergency call 911. You can click here to see a full list of our emergency departments in Arkansas. Some of our primary care clinics have expanded their hours. You can see a full list of clinics where walk-ins are welcome by clicking here