Mumbai, April 8: People across the globe are all set to witness the first solar eclipse of 2024 today, April 8. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and blocks the Sun's light completely or partially. During the total solar eclipse, the moon appears to be almost the same size as the Sun, thereby completely blocking the Sun's visible disk. While thousands and billions of people will witness the rare celestial event, the question is, should mobile phones be turned off during a solar eclipse?

It must be noted that the total solar eclipse will be seen across 15 states in the United States and Canada. However, the celestial event will not be visible in India. The solar eclipse will start at 9:12 pm today, reach totality at 10:08 pm and conclude at 2:22 am on April 9. People will also be picking up mobile phones to capture the rare event. Having said that, rumours suggest that one should not use their phones during a solar eclipse. However, that's not true. Solar Eclipse 2024: First Solar Eclipse of the Year to Grace Skies in US and Canada Today, Know If It Will Be Visible in India.

Solar Eclipse to Effect Mobile Network?

People can use their mobile phones during the total solar eclipse, but cell usage could lead to a surge and cause the networks to go dark. Cell phone signals are likely to be affected in areas where people gather in large numbers to witness the solar eclipse of 2024. It must be noted that the solar eclipse will not affect wireless networks.

However, the influx of people to witness the solar eclipse could lead to difficulty finding cell connections. Caty Pilachowski, a professor of astronomy at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, said that any location or place in the centre of the path of a solar eclipse's totality would see a significant rise in cellphone usage.

The rare celestial event will witness people taking pictures and videos, going live, and even sharing the images with others, leading to a surge in the network. The network disruption will depend on several factors, including an influx of people and the number of people using a cell tower. Having said that, it is safe to use mobile phones during a solar eclipse. How To Safely Watch Solar Eclipse 2024: Precautions and Guidelines – Important Things To Note To Safely Watch April’s Total Solar Eclipse.

NASA, too, busted myths about using mobile phones during an eclipse. Taking to X, the US space agency asked people to wear eclipse glasses in front of their phones' lenses while trying to capture the sun during the celestial event. NASA also said the phone's sensor could be damaged if people point the camera directly towards the Sun.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 08, 2024 05:44 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website