25 Days - March 14, 2024 | Kids Out and About Westchester <

25 Days

March 14, 2024

Debra Ross

St. Patrick's Day might be Sunday, but my brain has already sprinted ahead into the future to three weeks from Monday: On April 8, 2024, everyone in North America will be able to experience the Great North American Solar Eclipse. As you know if you have breathed Rochester air lately, we will be in TOTALITY! To see how the Moon will move across the Sun on April 8 in various places, click here for my article "What Will the Eclipse Look Like From My City?"

Plan NOW what you're doing for the afternoon of April 8! Don't waste the privilege of living where you and your family can have an unimaginably profound experience—you'll feel the motion of the solar system with your whole body. Plus, there won't be another major eclipse in North America for 21 years, and not in Rochester for 120 years, so this is your shot! Here's how to prepare.

1. Check out local information for what is happening for the eclipse. There are events both in communities within the path and communities outside the path, so scout that out in advance.

2. Get your eclipse glasses NOW. Here is a list of where you can get them locally. If ordering online, make sure you get them from an approved distributor linked on the American Astronomical Society's page. The AAS's warnings and reassurances about how to be safe will give you all the information you need about how to view the eclipse safely.

3. Download The Eclipse App. This will help you determine what will be happening, and when, based on where you are standing.

4. Educate the kids in your orbit about how and why eclipses happen (quick explanation: Moon goes between Earth and Sun, casts big shadow). Almost everyone in our area has the full day off school on 4/8, except Brighton, which has morning classes. (Yes, really, at least as of the moment I'm writing this.) Regardless, please do what you can to make sure your kids are with you for the eclipse. You need to be together if at all possible.

Everyone who experiences a total solar eclipse comes out of it with an eclipse story: My daughter Ella and I experienced the 2017 eclipse in Missouri and returned forever changed. The eclipse is just 25 days away, but I've been working to help our area's prepare for almost 7 years. So I encourage you to seize this opportunity to write a beautiful chapter in your family's story together. I promise you'll be telling it for the rest of your life.