Frequently Asked Questions
What's happening on April 8, 2024?
On Monday, April 8, 2024, there will be a total solar eclipse, and Genesee County, NY is in the path of totality. In a solar eclipse, the moon gets between the Sun and Earth. In a total solar eclipse, people who are in the path of totality see the Sun's bright disk totally covered by the Moon for a short time.
Genesee County is planning Total Solar Eclipse related celebrations, events and promotions Friday, April 5th through Monday April 8th.
Why is this a big deal?
A total solar eclipse was last seen in Genesee County in 1925 and will not be seen here again for another 126 years!
A total eclipse is one of the rarest and most spectacular events in nature. During the partial phases just before and after totality, the landscape around you is transformed by eerie dim light and strangely sharp shadows.
During totality, the sky becomes as dark as deep twilight, bright stars and planets appear, and the Sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona, shines around the black disk of the Moon's silhouette. Changes in temperature, winds and animal behavior occur during the time around totality. The experience is emotionally powerful and unforgettable.
What will we see from Genesee County?
The Moon will begin to cover the Sun at 2:06pm . Using a safe solar viewing method, we will gradually see more and more of the Sun covered by the Moon. This time is called a partial phase because the Sun is partially covered by the Moon.
Totality begins at 3:20pm and lasts 3 minutes and 42 seconds (plus or minus a few seconds, depending on your exact location.)
After totality, the Moon gradually uncovers the Sun in a second partial phase. The eclipse ends for Genesee County viewers at 4:34pm.
Where in our sky will the Sun be at eclipse? I need to know if a nearby building or tree will block my view.
Good question! As seen from Western New York at mid-eclipse, the Sun will be in the southwestern sky, a little more than halfway up from the horizon to the overhead point.
Look where the sun is located 5-10 days before or after April 8, 2023 at 3:20pm, this will tell you where the sun will be during the 2024 eclipse. You can also look late August/early April as the sun will be in the same location.
Are solar eclipses dangerous?
Like hiking in the woods, riding a bicycle or cooking on an outdoor grill, eclipse viewing is safe, enjoyable and worthwhile if you equip yourself with some basic information and take simple precautions.
To prevent eye damage, do not look directly at the Sun during the partial phases of an eclipse. (You wouldn't normally do that anyway, but during an eclipse, the Sun is more interesting than usual.) Don't look into a mirror at a reflected image of the Sun. Instead, look through a filter or "glasses" made specifically for solar viewing, or project the Sun's image onto some surface.
It is safe to look directly at the Sun without viewing equipment during the brief time of totality. There are no such things as dangerous rays that come only during eclipses.
Be sure when purchasing your solar viewing glasses that they are labeled ISO certified-safe.
Where else will this eclipse be total?
This eclipse will be total as seen from a 122-mile-wide path of totality extending from Mazatlan and Durango, Mexico to Dallas, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Watertown and Plattsburgh; parts of the Montreal area, northern Maine and New Brunswick.
Map from https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/
I don't live in Genesee County, but I'm in the area. Will the timing of the eclipse be different for me?
Probably. The closer you are to the centerline of the path of totality, the longer totality will last for you.
Because there is so much to see and feel during totality, it is worthwhile to travel to a place with a few seconds more. If you are outside the path of totality, you will not get the same experience of a total eclipse. A partial eclipse is not the same experience at all. We suggest you make plans to travel to the path of totality. No one who has ever experienced a total eclipse regrets the effort.