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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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Today's Message

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Totality Tuesday: The Final Countdown

We are now less than a week away from the Great North American Eclipse! Are you ready? If you haven’t yet solidified your plans for eclipse day, now is the time. Remember that Western New York could see up to a million visitors from outside the path of totality! Residents are advised to go grocery shopping and get gas and other supplies for the next week by Thursday or Friday. Remember that cell phone service might not be reliable because of the additional people who will be on the networks, so plan ahead with family and friends in case you can’t get in touch with them. Also, be prepared for very heavy traffic in many areas.  

Do you have your eclipse glasses? If not, time is running out! You can purchase Buffalo proud designs for $2 each during our public planetarium shows and during a special selling event on Saturday, April 6, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Science and Mathematics Complex. Get them while they last! 

Are My Eclipse Glasses Safe?
As we discussed on February 27, it is important to use proper eye protection when looking directly at the Sun any time except during totality. Most of us will be using eclipse glasses to view the eclipse. Although most eclipse glasses meet ISO requirements for safe direct viewing of the Sun, you might have heard that some “fake” glasses are out there. How do you know if yours are safe? With safe eclipse glasses, you will only be able to see the Sun and bright unshaded lights, such as exposed fluorescent lights or other bright filaments. 

If you can see a shaded light, like a lightbulb through a lamp shade, your eclipse glasses are not safe. Also remember to make sure the film in your glasses isn’t punctured, scratched, or wrinkled. 

I’ll join you again on the other side on April 9. Here’s hoping for clear skies and an awesome eclipse experience on April 8!

Question of the Week: Why do you call it an eclipse “experience”?

Answer: Don’t just notice what you see with your eyes, but listen to the noises of animals (including humans) and feel the temperature decrease as the Sun gets blocked by the Moon.

Question of the Week 2: How will I know when it’s safe to take off my eclipse glasses?  

Answer: As you are watching the first partial phase through your eclipse glasses, you will see the Sun become a thinner and thinner crescent. Just before totality, you will want to look for the “diamond ring effect” where you see the last bit of the Sun as a single, bright light. Once that disappears and you can’t see anything else through your eclipse glasses, it is safe to take them off to enjoy totality!

For information about Buffalo State’s eclipse events, please visit the Buffalo State Eclipse website. Questions? Email eclipse@buffalostate.edu.

Submitted by: Kevin K. Williams
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