Solar Eclipse

The Great American Eclipse

A solar eclipse is when the Moon crosses directly between the Earth and the Sun temporarily blocking the Sun. This is a rare event because the Moon doesn’t orbit directly along the ecliptic!  Its orbit is tilted with respect to the ecliptic, so the Moon’s shadow doesn’t always hit the Earth (for a solar eclipse during New Moon). The Moon is also a lot smaller than the Earth. You only see the eclipse if you are in the path of the Moon's shadow. For those outside of the shadow it will look like a normal day. The next eclipse passing over North America will be 2045. 

 total eclipse diagram


Celebrate at Corning Community College Eclipse Weekend

April 5, 8-9pm at the Eileen Collins Observatory, Eclipse Q&A. FREE.

Digital Dome Shows Eclipse Weekend purchase tickets here
April 5  -  6 and 7pm
April 6  -  11am, 12pm, and 1pm
April 7  -  1pm, Earth, Moon, Sun followed by a star talk and eclipse Q&A, and eclipse viewer craft. Eclipse viewers are a great option for kids! 

Eclipse Open House, April 8, 1:30-4:00pm. FREE. Note we only have 1500 glasses. You are welcome to bring your own. This is an outdoor event. Dress for the weather and bring your own lawn chair and or blanket. We have relief maps and eclipse sonification streaming for blind and low vision visitors.  
(Digital Dome Live Stream in the case of bad weather)

Parking: the digital dome and student parking lots will be open to visitors. A limited number of handicap parking spaces are available at the observatory. 

Post Eclipse Show in the Digital Dome, 4pm. FREE.

Safely Viewing the Eclipse

It is never safe to look directly at the Sun. Here are some options to keep you safe.

- Eclipse Glasses. Be sure they are ISO rated. If you wear prescription glasses your eclipse glasses go over the top. You cannot use eclipse glasses with binoculars. 
- The eclipse cannot be viewed through a camera or phone lense without a solar filter.
- Indirect viewing through a cereal box or other device will project the shadow of the moon crossing in front of the sun. This is a great option for group viewing and viewing with little kids. We will be teaching how to make these at the April 7 event. 
For more on eclipse safety check out NASA's recommendations

Check Out the Eclipse Path

Looking for the best place to view the eclipse? Check out this these maps NASA or