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Solar Eclipse Viewing Events Scheduled For Monday

The Northeast will experience a partial solar eclipse on Monday. To celebrate the event, universities and public libraries across the region will be hosting viewing parties.

Dr. George Hassle, a member of the Physics Department at Siena College says those in the Capital Region should begin to notice the solar eclipse on Monday afternoon.

“The moon will begin to appear across the face of the sun about 1:20, 1:30. The most that we’ll see is going to be about 2:45 in the afternoon,” said Hassle.

Hassle says about 65 percent of the sun will be blocked by the passing moon in the region. A total solar eclipse will be viewable in a line from Oregon to South Carolina.

To help the public get a better look at the partial eclipse, Siena College is hosting a viewing party from 1 to 4 p.m. on its Loudonville, New York campus. Watchers will be able to view the eclipse through telescopes with a special filter and peek through ISO-approved sunglasses.

Hassle asks anyone looking up on Monday to use property safety equipment.

“Don’t try to look directly at the sun with an unfiltered telescope, with binoculars. Don’ try to stare right at it with your eyes,” said Hassle.

And if you’re standing in direct sunlight, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Siena is not the only area college opening up its observatory on Monday.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will also be holding a viewing event.

PhD student Jake Weiss says eclipse viewers can use the college’s solar telescope to see parts of the sun not visible to the naked eye.

“You’ll also see some features on the sun as the moon passes across,” said Weiss. “So you’ll see sunspots and you’ll see different, other patterns on the surface of the sun because you have the zoom available from the telescope,” said Weiss.

However, the sun’s corona will only be visible to those in the path of its total eclipse.

The Hirsch Observatory on the RPI campus in Troy will be open from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

But you don’t need a telescope to create memories during an eclipse.

Jenna Riley at the Arkell Museum and Canajoharie Library says she remembers a solar eclipse in 1994, when she was in kindergarten.

“In the museum field we call those sticky memories. They’re things that have a really big impact on you that influence you later on life,” said Riley. “So for me, now, that influenced me to want to create the program for us at the Arkell.”

The “Experience the Eclipse” event will start at 1:30. Viewers will be able to make and decorate their own pin-hole viewers. Kids will be able to read books about eclipses and art supplies will be available for anyone inspired by the eclipse.

Some solar eclipse events in the region:

Russell Sage College
Outside of Buchman Pavilion
65 1st St., Troy, N.Y.
1 to 4 p.m.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Jonsson Rowland Science Center Hirsch Observatory
Building 74
Troy, NY
1 to 4:30 p.m.

Siena College Observatory
Loudonville, New York
1 to 4 p.m.

MiSci Dudley Observatory
Schenectady, New York
1:22 to 3:56 p.m.

Arkell Museum and Canajoharie Library
Canajoharie, New York
1:30 to 3 p.m.



Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.