North America’s Grand Eclipse, Exploring Leo, and Mapping our Galactic Backyard

In the April 2024 issue of Sky & Telescope, it’s showtime! The total solar eclipse that we’ve been anticipating for years, maybe even as far back as 2017, is finally here. Now, we’re providing information on when, where, and how to observe the eclipse. We also have a guide to listening to the eclipse through an AM radio (an especially useful project if it’s cloudy!) as well as the story about the eclipse that ignited the discipline of solar physics. And if you’re interested in other stars besides our own Sun, we’ve got loads of those, too! From interesting individual stars to entire galaxies full of them, a smorgasbord of sights awaits you in Leo, the Lion. Also in this issue, we follow the life cycle of a neutron star and map our local area of the Milky Way.


Mapping Our Galactic Backyard

An innovative technique is revealing our suburb of the Milky Way in new and surprising detail.  

By Catherine Zucker

Exploring the Lion’s Den

Are you brave enough to enter and discover what treasures this celestial feline hoards?

By Scott Harrington

Eclipse Expeditions that “Discovered” the Sun

In the mid–19th century, astronomers were astounded to see unexpected and spectacular phenomena during totality.

By Trudy E. Bell

Adventures of a Millisecond Magnetar

Join us on a fanciful expedition through the life cycle of a neutron star.

By Zach Cano

Observe April’s Eclipse with Your AM Radio

As the Moon’s shadow glides across North America, you’ll have a chance to hear the eclipse as it happens.  

By Joe Rao

Beyond the Printed Page:

Sun Funnel

Learn how to build your own Sun funnel for watching the solar eclipse with a group.

Eclipse Day

Check out all the eclipse resources available on our website.

Eclipse-Day Weather

See weather predictions in your area for the day of the eclipse.

Lunar Occultations

Find out exactly what time during the day on April 7th the Moon will cover Venus in your area.


Springs of the Gazelle

On April evenings, try to envision this delightful, animated star pattern.

By Stephen James O’Meara

Time for Totality (Again)

This month’s total solar eclipse is the first visible across the U.S. since 2017 and the last of that nature until 2045.

By Bob King

Understanding Sinuous Rilles

The origin of these meandering lava channels is surprisingly complex.

By Charles A. Wood

Astrophotography With a Portrait Lens

Creating more detailed astrophotos requires a boost in focal length.

By Tony Puerzer

Table of Contents

See what else April’s issue has to offer.


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