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UR professor gives insight on Western New York’s upcoming total solar eclipse

By Sarah Prentice


A total solar eclipse is coming to Western New York during the afternoon of April 8, 2024 for the first time in almost 100 years. 


A total eclipse of the sun seen from Nashville, Tennessee on August 21, 2017. (Photo credit: MarthaLu42, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)


The event is suspected to bring hundreds of thousands of people to Western New York for the once in a lifetime experience. 


Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse are Western New York cities expected to bring in the most traffic, as they fall under the eclipse’s path of totality. 


89.1 the Point spoke to University of Rochester astronomy and physics professor Dr. Kelly Douglass to understand better what a solar eclipse is and why this is such a special for Western New York. 


“The big deal is that if you are able to see the total eclipse, right,” she told 89.1 the Point. “Because that’s when all of the sun’s light gets blocked out for some amount of time, so many minutes. And so it appears like it’s about a half hour, 45 minutes after sunset for a couple minutes.”


Dr. Douglass also explains what you can expect to experience during the eclipse and the moment of totality.


“So it’ll get dark, all the animals will start doing their normal nighttime sounds,” she explains. “You can see the stars in the sky, you’ll be able to see the corona around the sun.”


The moment of totality is expected to last for approximately 3 minutes and the exact timing depends on what region of New York you are located in.


For Rochester, the moment of totality will occur at about 3:20 p.m. and last until 3:23 p.m. 


To hear the full interview with Dr. Douglass, tune into 89.1 the Point WBSU from April 1st to April 8th or listen on our Spotify. 




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