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Preparing for the total solar eclipse in Rochester: What you need to know

todayFebruary 8, 2024 2

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two months from now, on Monday, April 8, 2024, Rochester will be in the center of the path of totality of a total eclipse of the sun. What does that mean, and how can you make the most of it?

What is the total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse is a type of eclipse during which the moon completely blocks the sun as it passes between the sun and the Earth. The totality is the main event when 100% of the sun is eclipsed.

Click here to brush up on eclipse vocabulary.

What time is the eclipse?

In Rochester, the eclipse will begin at 2:07 p.m. on Monday, April 8. The moon will obscure more and more of the sun for one hour and 13 minutes until totality begins at 3:20 p.m. Totality will last roughly 3 minutes and 38 seconds. The moon will take just over an hour to get out of the sun’s way after that. The eclipse will end at 4:33 p.m.

Click here for more information about what to expect as the eclipse progresses.

Can you look at the eclipse?

It is safe to look at the eclipse without eye protection only during the 3 minutes and 38 seconds of the totality. For the rest of the event —and diurnal life in general— it is not safe to look directly into the sun.

You can safely watch the entire eclipse with a pair of special eclipse glasses. If you’re ordering eclipse glasses online, make sure they have an ISO 12312-2:2015 certification.

You’ll also want a solar filter if you plan on taking photos of the eclipse. Pointing your phone or camera directly at the sun without protection can harm the sensors inside those devices. Filters can be used to view the eclipse through binoculars or telescopes as well.

Glasses and filters are not safe to use if they were made before 2015, have wrinkled lenses, or are loose from their frames.

Click here for more information about safely viewing the eclipse.

Where is the best place to watch the eclipse?

The path of totality will be between 108 and 122 miles wide as it sweeps across North America, according to NASA. When it hits our region and peaks in Rochester, it will stretch approximately from Naples in the south, across Lake Ontario, to Brighton in Canada.

Brockport will get a direct hit, with the southeast corner of the SUNY Brockport campus falling directly on the center line. Viewers there will get about five more seconds of totality.

At 3:20 p.m. on April 8 in Rochester, the sun will be about 44 degrees in the sky to the southwest. An open field may be your best bet for optimal viewing, but any place with a clear southwest view should work. You may want to scope out a location or even check from your own yard around 3:20 p.m. a day or two in advance to see if the sun will be in sight.

Then it all depends on the weather, of course.

Will the sky be cloudy or clear on eclipse day?

All we can do on that front so far is look at the odds. Luckily, Chief Meteorologist Eric Snitil has already done that for us. Here’s what he has to say:

History tells us (statistically speaking) that Rochester has a roughly 1/3 chance of a clear/partly cloudy sky at 3pm on April 8th. This utilizes data dating back to 1974. It’s important to note, there is a BIG difference in outcomes between clear and partly cloudy. But they’re the best-case-scenarios in a region where April clearing is not necessarily “the usual”. Overcast conditions, which would essentially kill any view of the show for anyone locally, occurred about 44% of the time.

We can start getting a VERY general and basic sense of the overall pattern a few weeks ahead of time. Within a week, we’re starting to get a feel for what April 8th’s situation might actually look like. Even there, the most likely outcome is at least some element of a mixed sky, meaning we’re going down to the wire to sample the sort of resolution necessary to make a call. For now, leaning on past history is the only metric to give us at least some appreciation of odds. But it is meaningless in terms of what will happen THIS April 8th. We’ll reassess some of the pattern signals as the weeks tick on by.

Eric’s advice: Control what you can control (select a good location) & don’t stress about what you can’t.

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two months from now, on Monday, April 8, 2024, Rochester will be in the center of the path of totality of a total eclipse of the sun. What does that mean, and how can you make the most of it?

What is the total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse is a type of eclipse during which the moon completely blocks the sun as it passes between the sun and the Earth. The totality is the main event when 100% of the sun is eclipsed.

Click here to brush up on eclipse vocabulary.

What time is the eclipse?

In Rochester, the eclipse will begin at 2:07 p.m. on Monday, April 8. The moon will obscure more and more of the sun for one hour and 13 minutes until totality begins at 3:20 p.m. Totality will last roughly 3 minutes and 38 seconds. The moon will take just over an hour to get out of the sun’s way after that. The eclipse will end at 4:33 p.m.

Click here for more information about what to expect as the eclipse progresses.

Can you look at the eclipse?

It is safe to look at the eclipse without eye protection only during the 3 minutes and 38 seconds of the totality. For the rest of the event —and diurnal life in general— it is not safe to look directly into the sun.

You can safely watch the entire eclipse with a pair of special eclipse glasses. If you’re ordering eclipse glasses online, make sure they have an ISO 12312-2:2015 certification.

You’ll also want a solar filter if you plan on taking photos of the eclipse. Pointing your phone or camera directly at the sun without protection can harm the sensors inside those devices. Filters can be used to view the eclipse through binoculars or telescopes as well.

Glasses and filters are not safe to use if they were made before 2015, have wrinkled lenses, or are loose from their frames.

Click here for more information about safely viewing the eclipse.

Where is the best place to watch the eclipse?

The path of totality will be between 108 and 122 miles wide as it sweeps across North America, according to NASA. When it hits our region and peaks in Rochester, it will stretch approximately from Naples in the south, across Lake Ontario, to Brighton in Canada.

Brockport will get a direct hit, with the southeast corner of the SUNY Brockport campus falling directly on the center line. Viewers there will get about five more seconds of totality.

At 3:20 p.m. on April 8 in Rochester, the sun will be about 44 degrees in the sky to the southwest. An open field may be your best bet for optimal viewing, but any place with a clear southwest view should work. You may want to scope out a location or even check from your own yard around 3:20 p.m. a day or two in advance to see if the sun will be in sight.

Then it all depends on the weather, of course.

Will the sky be cloudy or clear on eclipse day?

All we can do on that front so far is look at the odds. Luckily, Chief Meteorologist Eric Snitil has already done that for us. Here’s what he has to say:

History tells us (statistically speaking) that Rochester has a roughly 1/3 chance of a clear/partly cloudy sky at 3pm on April 8th. This utilizes data dating back to 1974. It’s important to note, there is a BIG difference in outcomes between clear and partly cloudy. But they’re the best-case-scenarios in a region where April clearing is not necessarily “the usual”. Overcast conditions, which would essentially kill any view of the show for anyone locally, occurred about 44% of the time.

We can start getting a VERY general and basic sense of the overall pattern a few weeks ahead of time. Within a week, we’re starting to get a feel for what April 8th’s situation might actually look like. Even there, the most likely outcome is at least some element of a mixed sky, meaning we’re going down to the wire to sample the sort of resolution necessary to make a call. For now, leaning on past history is the only metric to give us at least some appreciation of odds. But it is meaningless in terms of what will happen THIS April 8th. We’ll reassess some of the pattern signals as the weeks tick on by.

Eric’s advice: Control what you can control (select a good location) & don’t stress about what you can’t. Read More Eclipse LocalRochesterFirst  

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