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WNY Top Totality Times

todayApril 2, 2024 3

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It’s almost here! Monday’s total solar eclipse is now less than a week away. While much of WNY will experience totality, the exact duration will differ from town to town, city to city. On the graphic below, I’ve plotted some of the longest totality times for the News 8 coverage area. Take Brockport, for example. They’ll enjoy 3 minutes & 43.4 seconds of totality, making it arguably the best place to be if you want to maximize totality time locally (even if only by a few fractions of a second).

WHY ARE TOTALITY TIMES DIFFERENT? The Sun, Moon & Earth are all (relative) spheres. The shadow that will be cast by the Moon will logically be somewhat circular. In actuality, it’s more like an oval, but you get the idea. This reality allows different points along the path of that shadow to enter & exit totality at different times.

For sake of simplicity, let’s take a perfect circle and draw several lines along it. Bisecting that circle through the heart is the “center line”. From point to point, it’s the longest diameter line we’ll be able to draw. Additional lines drawn increasingly closer to the edge feature diminishing returns in terms of length.

As this circular shadow moves in space and time, imagine cities lying along the path of those various lines. A city that exists along the center line will enter the shadow first, followed by cities along lines radiating away toward the edge. Eventually, those cities will exit the shadow in reverse order. First along the edge, last along the center line.

Consider the implications. A city along that center line gets to enter totality first & exit it last. While all cities along all lines get to experience some totality, the duration is significantly greater closer to that center line.

This is why places like Rochester will get to enjoy more than 3 & a half minutes of totality while Penn Yan barely gets more than 30 seconds. Same “totality”, very different experience. Now, there are some who intentionally seek out the edge of the shadow for unique phenomena that can only be witnessed there. But for many, totality is the main event & more is better. For this reason, you might be more inclined to give some thought to exactly where in WNY you might want to go in order to buy as much totality time as you can.

You can find your exact totality time here: https://eclipse2024.org/eclipse_cities/states.php?type=TOTAL&state=New+York&country=USA

​ It’s almost here! Monday’s total solar eclipse is now less than a week away. While much of WNY will experience totality, the exact duration will differ from town to town, city to city. On the graphic below, I’ve plotted some of the longest totality times for the News 8 coverage area. Take Brockport, for example. They’ll enjoy 3 minutes & 43.4 seconds of totality, making it arguably the best place to be if you want to maximize totality time locally (even if only by a few fractions of a second).

WHY ARE TOTALITY TIMES DIFFERENT? The Sun, Moon & Earth are all (relative) spheres. The shadow that will be cast by the Moon will logically be somewhat circular. In actuality, it’s more like an oval, but you get the idea. This reality allows different points along the path of that shadow to enter & exit totality at different times.

For sake of simplicity, let’s take a perfect circle and draw several lines along it. Bisecting that circle through the heart is the “center line”. From point to point, it’s the longest diameter line we’ll be able to draw. Additional lines drawn increasingly closer to the edge feature diminishing returns in terms of length.

As this circular shadow moves in space and time, imagine cities lying along the path of those various lines. A city that exists along the center line will enter the shadow first, followed by cities along lines radiating away toward the edge. Eventually, those cities will exit the shadow in reverse order. First along the edge, last along the center line.

Consider the implications. A city along that center line gets to enter totality first & exit it last. While all cities along all lines get to experience some totality, the duration is significantly greater closer to that center line.

This is why places like Rochester will get to enjoy more than 3 & a half minutes of totality while Penn Yan barely gets more than 30 seconds. Same “totality”, very different experience. Now, there are some who intentionally seek out the edge of the shadow for unique phenomena that can only be witnessed there. But for many, totality is the main event & more is better. For this reason, you might be more inclined to give some thought to exactly where in WNY you might want to go in order to buy as much totality time as you can.

You can find your exact totality time here: https://eclipse2024.org/eclipse_cities/states.php?type=TOTAL&state=New+York&country=USA Read More NewsRochesterFirst  

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