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The first total eclipse over New York in 99 years will be visible on April 8. It’s a sight not to be missed. Should you skip this one, the next total solar eclipse that can be seen in the United States will be in 2044 (visible in North Dakota and Montana) and 2045 (crossing from California to Florida.)

In addition to New York, the eclipse will travel through 11 other states. Two others (Tennessee and Michigan) will see small parts of it.

According to the state Department of Economic Development, the eclipse will begin in western New York shortly after 2 p.m. Full totality will begin in Chautauqua County at 3:17 p.m. moving through the state to Plattsburgh at 3:25 p.m.

I Love NY eclipse factsheet by hartrionos on Scribd

While the Hudson Valley will not be in the path of totality — although those not in that path will see between 88 and 99 percent coverage, says the governor’s office — there are ways to view the eclipse.

Total solar eclipse explained by hartrionos on Scribd

Where to see the eclipse

The Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum, 75 N. Water St., Poughkeepsie will hold a viewing party from 2 to 5 p.m. Cost is $5 for museum members, $8 for nonmembers. The museum notes, “though Poughkeepsie is not in the path of totality for this total eclipse, we will experience just over 90% eclipse coverage.”

In addition to seeing the eclipse, there will be food and activities including kids activities and crafts as well as science demonstrations. Two viewing glasses will be provided per family, free with tickets.

The Tuxedo Park Library, 227 Route 17, will from 3:15 to 4 p.m. have a viewing party along with a special eclipse-themed snack. The library notes viewing glasses will be available starting March 18 and are limited to one per household.

Outside of the Hudson Valley, the Shirley Chisholm Environmental Education Team will from 2 to 4 p.m. hold a viewing party at the Hendrix Creek patio of Shirley Chisholm State Park, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave., Brooklyn. Registration is required. There is also a hike where observers can see the eclipse from the highest point in Jamaica Bay, also through the Shirley Chisholm Environmental Education Team.

In either case, eclipse glasses will be provided.

The Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center, 4900 Independence Ave., Bronx, will have a viewing party from noon to 5 p.m. The event is free, but registration is required. Viewing glasses will be provided, and there will also be live music, story time and activity stations where one can make a festive eclipse party hat.

In case of rain, the viewing will be held indoors, where the eclipse will be seen live on TV. The center notes, “we won’t see another eclipse in NYC until 2044, so don’t miss it!”

How to safely view the eclipse

Do not look at the sun directly during the eclipse. Sunglasses will not protect your eyes, only use International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 12312-2 certified eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers from a trusted source.

The American Astronomical Society states on its website:

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.

  • Always supervise children using solar filters.

  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the Sun.

  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

  • Similarly, donot look at the Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer in front of your eyes — the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious injury.

  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device; note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

Specific to the April eclipse:

  • If you are inside the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright Sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases. Note that this applies only to viewing without optical aid (other than ordinary eyeglasses). Different rules apply when viewing or imaging the Sun through camera lenses, binoculars, or telescopes; consult an expert astronomer before using a solar filter with any type of magnifying optics.

  • Outside the path of totality, and throughout a partial solar eclipse, there is no time when it is safe to look directly at the Sun without using a special-purpose solar filter that complies with the transmittance requirements of the ISO 12312-2 international standard.

One can also indirectly view the eclipse through a pinhole projector, where one views a projected image through a small opening made in an index card or a piece of cardboard paper. Need to know how to make one? The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has instructions.

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: April 2024 solar eclipse: What to know, how to view in NY

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