Do you remember where you were on April 8, 2024?
Oh, wait! That date hasn’t happened yet, so you haven’t missed out. On April 8, 2024 Tupper Lake and the entire Adirondacks will fall in the path of totality of a total solar eclipse.
A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun, darkening the sky and creating the illusion of dusk. Total eclipses are rare. Sure they happen somewhere on Earth every 18 months or so, but at any given point on Earth they only occur every 375 years, give or take. But with some cosmic serendipity, we can witness one of the most unique events in the sky right here, in our own backyard next year!
What is a total solar eclipse?
Total solar eclipses require the utmost precision and timing.
For the eclipse to be considered “total” the sun is entirely blocked by the moon, which does not often happen because the moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle, and the center of the sun and the center of the moon don’t often line up perfectly. (If the moon’s orbit was a perfect circle, we’d have a total solar eclipse once a month!) During a total solar eclipse, only the solar corona is visible.
Solar eclipses, when they occur, can be seen from a wide area, but the “path of totality” is the narrow track on the Earth’s surface where the sun is completely blocked. Tupper Lake is just a little south of the center line for the path of totality, but will experience the total eclipse for 3 minutes and 31 seconds!
The total duration of the April 8, 2024 eclipse will be 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 41 seconds in Tupper Lake, NY. Here is a breakdown:
- Partial totality begins at 2:12:19 p.m.
- Full totality begins at 3:24:27 p.m.
- Maximum totality at 3:26:13 p.m.
- Full totality ends at 3:27:58 p.m.
- Partial totality ends at 4:36:18 p.m.
Since total solar eclipses are rare and exciting, Tupper Lake will host a variety of activities and programs to celebrate the occasion.
The Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory shares in our collective excitement for the total eclipse and plans to make this eclipse one to remember! Operating under the motto “the Universe belongs to all of us,” ALL programs offered by the Sky Center & Observatory will be FREE! Since the eclipse is a “next year” event, there is still ongoing planning, but high-level details have been released. Visitors can:
- Partake in activities that help all ages understand and appreciate the event
- Visit a designed viewing area for science and photography at the Sky Center’s Roll Off Roof Observatory
- Enjoy food vendors and other vendors selling memorabilia
- Use one of 50,000+ solar eclipse glasses available
- Events and activities April 7 and 8 at various locations throughout town, including the Sky Center’s Roll off Roof Observatory and the Municipal Park
In addition, astronomers from all across the country will be in Tupper Lake to see this eclipse phenomena and help everyone get the most out of their eclipse experience!
Things to remember
The total solar eclipse might be a distant thought at this point in time, but here are a few things to remember:
- Even during an eclipse, it is dangerous to look at the sun. Except for during the brief period of maximum totality, viewers should NOT look directly at the sun without eclipse glasses. Doing so can cause permanent damage to viewers' eyes within fractions of a second. Sunglasses DO NOT cut it!
- Eclipse photography is popular and possible using most camera equipment. Just remember that it is still possible to cause damage to your eyes, even if viewing through a camera. Pointing a camera directly at the sun without a filter can also cause damage to the camera sensors if a solar filter is not used.
- To drive home how rare this event is, the next total solar eclipse will be on August 12, 2026, but will only be seen in the Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Atlantic Ocean, and northern Spain. (If you consider yourself an “eclipse chaser” and are curious about it, this event could bring an added bonus of coinciding with a fantastic display of Northern Lights if conditions allow since totality will be around sunrise.) There won’t be another total eclipse in the United States for more than 20 years.
- For a cool science experience, bring a thermometer with you. Some events can change the temperatures by as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eclipses are cool - literally!
Mark your calendars
Countdown the days with us and start getting excited for this totally awesome, rare event! As you can probably tell, eclipses are popular, so planning trips now is a good idea to ensure you have a hotel room if you need one. Finer details will emerge as we get closer to April 8, 2024, so check in with the Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory and Tupper Lake’s The Wild Center to see what kind of excitement is planned.
If you want to continue your celestial gaze into the night, remember that Tupper Lake is home to famously dark skies. Stargazing is phenomenal here!
We’ll see you in Tupper Lake on April 8, 2024 for what promises to be a totally spectacular time!