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Total eclipse: Why today is being called ‘Bonnie Tyler Day’

08 Apr 2024 5 minute read
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Credit: WikiCommons)

A total eclipse of the sun is set to plunge a stretch of North America into darkness on Monday, with millions of spectators across the US, Mexico and Canada hoping to catch a glimpse of the celestial phenomenon.

It promises to be North America’s biggest eclipse crowd ever, thanks to the lure of up to four minutes of midday darkness in Texas and other spots.

Almost everyone in North America is guaranteed at least a partial eclipse, weather permitting, say forecasters.

However, back in Wales there was one particular Welsh singing star very much enjoying what is being dubbed on social media as ‘Bonnie Tyler Day’.

The rock singer’s epic 1983 worldwide chart topper Total Eclipse Of The Heart has become the go to song whenever there is an eclipse around the globe.

Number one in both the UK and US, the Jim Steinman produced single often receives publicity during solar eclipses and lunar eclipses with increased plays for the classic rock song.

This has been borne out by previous eclipses. The song received substantial media attention during the solar eclipse of 20 March 2015. Tyler’s version received a 214% increase of Spotify streams throughout the day.

A similar impact was experienced during the solar eclipse of 21 August 2017, when Nielsen Music reported a 503% increase in record sales. Around that time, the song hit number one on the iTunes chart.

As for the singer herself, she took to X (formerly Twitter) to acknowledge that her mentions are once again blowing up!

And it wasn’t long before she was trending on X.

Back in February the 72-year-old singer said she would never get bored of singing Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

The classic track was released 41 years ago, but she said she is immensely lucky to be able to perform the famous song – alongside her other smash hit, Holding Out For A Hero.

“Lots of people ask me aren’t you fed up of singing it, but there is no way, I love it and everybody does, it is a karaoke classic.”

Tyler has released more than 15 albums across five decades of work in the music industry, and added that she has no plans for slowing down.

“I’ve been so very lucky in my life to work with some of the best producers and songwriters in the world,” she said.

“I’ve just finished a massive tour of Brazil and South America, I do so much work across the world, and I get recognised a lot more in other countries.

“And I’ve got a big tour coming up at the end of this year.”

Online, social media was awash with Bonnie Tyler eclipse memes and there was even a parody version of Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

The resulting twilight, with only the sun’s outer atmosphere or corona visible, could be long enough for birds and other animals to fall silent, and for planets, stars and maybe even a comet to become visible.

The out-of-sync darkness could last up to four minutes, 28 seconds.

That is almost twice as long as it was during the US coast-to-coast eclipse seven years ago because the moon is closer to Earth.

It will be another 21 years before the US sees a total solar eclipse on this scale.

Monday’s eclipse begins in the Pacific and makes landfall at Mazatlan, Mexico, before moving into Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and 12 other US states in the Midwest, Middle Atlantic and New England, and then Canada.

The last stop will be Newfoundland, with the eclipse ending in the North Atlantic.

It will take just one hour, 40 minutes for the moon’s shadow to race more than 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometres) across the continent.

Eye protection is needed with proper eclipse glasses and filters to look at the sun, except when it ducks completely out of sight during an eclipse.

The path of totality — approximately 115 miles (185 kilometres) wide — encompasses several major cities this time, including Dallas, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo, New York and Montreal.

An estimated 44 million people live within the track, with a couple hundred million more within 200 miles (320 kilometres).

Experts from Nasa and scores of universities are posted along the route, poised to launch research rockets and weather balloons and conduct experiments.

The International Space Station’s seven astronauts will also be on the lookout, 270 miles (435 kilometres) up.

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