Eclipse totality isn’t only in Lorain County as billboard claims

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Lorain County is on the centerline, which means it will have a longer totality duration. But totality can be viewed in other places in the state and the country.

Many cities are prepping for the total solar eclipse set to happen on April 8, 2024. Ohio is one of multiple states directly within the path of the eclipse. 

A billboard spotted in Lorain County, Ohio, says “totality is only visible” in the county. Totality is the phase of a total solar eclipse when the sun is completely blocked by the moon. We VERIFY whether this claim is true. 

THE QUESTION

Is totality only visible in Lorain County, Ohio?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, totality is not only visible in Lorain County, Ohio. 

WHAT WE FOUND

Lorain County, Ohio, is not the only place where you can see totality during the solar eclipse. Totality can be seen in other areas in Ohio, as well as in several states across the country.

NASA Glenn Research Center Public Engagement Lead Chris Hartenstine confirmed this to VERIFY partner station WKYC.

“In Ohio, the path of totality will move from just north of Cincinnati, over Dayton, Springfield and Lima, barely over Toledo and just north of Columbus before crossing directly over Lorain, Akron, and Cleveland,” Hartenstine says. 

A map on the website of the Lorain County Visitors Bureau Board, who is behind the billboard, also shows that Lorain County is not the only locality in Ohio in the path of totality. 

When asked about the billboard, David Moore, president of the Lorain County Visitors Bureau Board, told WKYC that because Lorain County is on the centerline of the path of totality, “the Earth’s moon will completely shadow the sun over Lorain County municipalities and townships offering the longest totality in Northeast Ohio.”

While many locations are within the path of totality, some cities will have a longer totality than others. 

“The duration of totality will vary place-to-place because it’s based on how the moon shadow hits the Earth,” so “the closer you are to the central line, the longer duration of totality you have,” astronomer Destiny Thomas told WKYC.  

“The centerline for the moon’s shadow will always have longer totality compared to locations at the edges of the shadow at the same time,” Hartenstine adds.

Although Lorain County, Ohio, will not be the only place in Ohio or in the United States to watch the upcoming solar eclipse in totality, it is one of the locations in the state where totality will last the longest because it is on the centerline.

A map on the National Solar Observatory website shows that Lorain County’s duration of totality will be 3 minutes and 53 seconds. Hartenstine adds that “in Ohio, the longest duration will be on centerline at Ohio’s western border, just south of Union City, at 3 minutes 59 seconds.” 

Outside of Ohio, NASA says areas in Texas will see a totality of around 4 minutes and 26 seconds, and “durations longer than 4 minutes stretch as far north as Economy, Indiana.” 

The longest totality duration for this year’s eclipse can be seen near Torreón, Mexico, where the moon will completely cover the sun for 4 minutes and 28 seconds, Hartenstine adds. 

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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Eclipse totality isn’t only in Lorain County as billboard claims

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