A total solar eclipse will sweep across North America from Mexico today (April 8). The moon will completely cover the sun, darkening the sky and revealing our star’s hidden outer atmosphere, starting in Mexico at about 11:07 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (8:07 p.m. Central European Time CET). It will then cross into Texas, USA, at 1:27 p.m. Central Daylight Time (8:27 p.m. CET), eventually ending in Maine, USA, at 3:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (9:35 p.m. CET).

While people in Ireland and Scotland will glimpse a brief partial eclipse, those in the rest of Europe won’t see anything at all. In fact, Europeans will not see a full eclipse before 2026.

Americans will have the chance to observe the rare occasion when the Sun, the Moon, and Earth line up. But eclipse onlookers may also notice uncommon occurrences, starting with unusual animal behavior.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) warned that the solar eclipse was expected to cause several earthly disturbances, including both physical and auditory animal reactions.

In a press release published in February, NASA wrote: “When darkness sweeps across the landscape during a total solar eclipse, unusual things start happening.

“Fooled by the false dusk, birds stop singing, crickets start chirping, and bees return to their hives.”

Today’s total solar eclipse brings rare celestial alignment, revealing the hidden sun’s atmosphere and triggering uncommon earthly disturbances

Image credits: Jongsun Lee/Unsplash

According to the space agency, the atypical animal behaviors date back centuries, yet the effects of an eclipse on plant and animal life are not fully understood.

As a result, NASA launched the Eclipse Soundscapes Project, which will collect the sights and sounds of the total solar eclipse on Monday, using observations sent by members of the public.

Kelsey Perrett, communications coordinator with the Eclipse Soundscapes Project, said: “Eclipses are often thought of as a visual event, something that you see.

“We want to show that eclipses can be studied in a multi-sensory manner, through sound and feeling and other forms of observation.”

As the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, blocking its light from reaching parts of the planet, in areas where the Sun’s light is completely blocked, it looks as if dusk has fallen, temperatures drop, and some stars become visible.

These changes can trick animals into altering their usual daytime behaviors. As a result, NASA’s project is particularly interested in learning about cricket behavior and wants to answer questions like, “Do nocturnal and diurnal animals act differently or become more or less vocal during a solar eclipse?”

The total solar eclipse could also affect air travel and delay flights. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a domestic notice outlining special air traffic procedures for the solar eclipse.

Consequently, the eclipse may have already caused disturbances to air traffic on Sunday (April 7) and may continue to do so until Wednesday (April 10).

The total solar eclipse could affect air travel and delay flights, as a domestic notice outlining special air traffic procedures for the solar eclipse was issued