Southern Tier prepares for rare astronomical event - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Southern Tier prepares for rare astronomical event


(WBNG) -- In less than two weeks all of North America will be treated to a solar eclipse. On August 21, the moon will pass directly between the sun and the earth, giving millions of Americans the chance to experience the rare astronomical event.

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in the United States was in 1979. It's the first time since 1918 a solar eclipse is passing through the entire nation.

"It's going to traverse the entire pass of the United States," Kopernik Observatory Executive Director Drew Deskur said. "People all the way from Oregon through the coast of South Carolina will be able to view it within the totality." 

Deskur says although the Southern Tier is not in the path of totality, residents will be able to see the moon cover 75% of the sun during its peak. Peak is scheduled for after 2 p.m on August 21.

"You'll actually be able to see ridges of the moon against the sun." Deskur said.

The eclipse can be dangerous to watch. Experts suggest getting a pair of glasses that have a special film. They will reduce the amount of light coming through and will make it safer to view. The glasses can be purchased at Lowes in Norwich. Lowes in Vestal and the Town of Chenango have sold out. Those who pay admission for the solar eclipse viewing event at Kopernik Observatory will be provided glasses.

The next Solar Eclipse is scheduled for 2024. Officials at the Kopernik Observatory say it may come closer to our area giving us a higher chance to view it within the totality.

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