On Monday, April 8, 2024, the moon’s shadow will trace a narrow swath across North America, momentarily eclipsing the sun — and SUNY Plattsburgh is directly in its path! We invite you to join us in the festivities for this exceptional astronomical event.
For a total solar eclipse to take place, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. Weather permitting, people located in the center of the moon’s shadow when it hits Earth will experience a total eclipse — and Plattsburgh will be in the center of the moon’s shadow!
The sky will become very dark for a few minutes, as if it were night — in Plattsburgh, this darkness will last over three minutes. Normally, when looking at the sun, you can only see the photosphere, the bright surface. However, extending about 5,000 km above the photosphere is the region of the solar atmosphere called the chromosphere. It is only seen during total solar eclipses, or with sophisticated telescopes, and its red and pinkish color gives the blackened moon a thin halo of color against the greyish corona.
Because Plattsburgh will be in the center of the total solar eclipse, we will also see the sun’s corona, the outer atmosphere, which is otherwise usually obscured by the bright face of the sun. This will be a very rare and special experience and we hope you will plan to participate with us!
Image: Burghy checks out the sky during Homecoming weekend before the partial solar eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14. View all eclipse events here.