The Big Apple Goes Dark: Don't Miss Tomorrow the Total Eclipse in New York

A total eclipse is only visible from this specific location every 375 years, and it will last 4 minutes

by Sededin Dedovic
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The Big Apple Goes Dark: Don't Miss Tomorrow the Total Eclipse in New York
© Spencer Platt / Getty Images

On April 8, a celestial spectacle – a total solar eclipse – will unfold across North America. However, for many schools in upstate New York, this awe-inspiring event is a logistical nightmare. Faced with the potential for traffic chaos and concerns for student safety, several districts decided to cancel or shorten classes for the day.

The official explanation revolves around the expected traffic congestion. Since the eclipse occurs at 15:18 local time (New York), it coincides with the dismissal period in many schools. The path of totality, the narrow band where the eclipse will be fully visible, cuts through 29 of New York's 62 counties.

Local police are preparing to increase traffic as early as noon, especially with the influx of tourists eager to witness this rare phenomenon. In addition to logistical concerns, there is an unspoken concern: the safety of students' eyes.

While the allure of witnessing a total solar eclipse is undeniable, looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause permanent eye damage. Schools are understandably reluctant to take responsibility for potential injuries if students were to view the eclipse without proper protection on school grounds.

This total solar eclipse, however, is not the only cause of disruption. This is a unique opportunity to witness the perfect alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun, creating a breathtaking celestial display. The eclipse will last approximately four and a half minutes and will be visible from parts of Canada, Mexico and the United States – including a live stream on NASA's website and YouTube channel.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon blocks the Sun, casting its shadow on Earth. This only happens during the New Moon, when the Moon is invisible from the Earth because it is between the Earth and the Sun. Unlike a partial eclipse, a total eclipse turns the daytime sky into an eerie twilight, revealing the sun's brilliant white corona, its outer atmosphere.

This event arouses the interest of astronomy lovers, many of whom have already arrived in New York, as well as scientists from various fields. One fascinating aspect of this particular eclipse is its rarity – typically, a total eclipse is only visible from a specific location every 375 years.

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