Here are some questions and answers about the upcoming Solar Eclipse.

Q: When is the next solar eclipse visible?

A: On Monday, April 8, our community will witness the total solar eclipse. It hasn’t happened here since 1925, and it won’t happen again until 2144. The Canandaigua, Geneva, and Macedon practices are in the path of totality. Our location is among a handful of prime viewing spots throughout the country. In a solar eclipse, the moon gets between the Sun and Earth. In a total solar eclipse, people who are in the path of totality see the Sun’s bright disk totally covered by the Moon for a short time.

Q: What time is the solar eclipse?

A: At its peak, the eclipse is expected to last several minutes. This rare event occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow on our planet and temporarily blocking out the sun and darkening the sky. The timing will vary slightly depending on your exact location, but generally, the eclipse will begin at 2:07 p.m. and end at 4:33 p.m., with totality lasting from 3:20 p.m. to 3:23 p.m. NASA estimates that 32 million people in the United States live in the 15 states that are in the pathway of the eclipse.  

Q: Can you look at a solar eclipse safely?

A: In order to safely view the eclipse and protect your eyes, special eclipse glasses are needed. Regular sunglasses won’t work. Even your cameras, telescopes, telephones, and binoculars need to be outfitted with special solar filters. Special eclipse glasses, noted with the code ISO 12312-2, are available for sale from the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) and are available at many local libraries to allow you to safely see the eclipse. 

“If you expose your eyes to the sun without proper eye protection, your eyes can be harmed,” according to Dr. Holly Hindman of The Eye Care Center. “Even a brief glance can cause permanent damage and there is no pain associated with this condition, so you may not realize this immediately. Signs and symptoms of solar retinopathy include headache, blurry vision, a blind spot in your central vision, and an increased light sensitivity.”

Q: Can someone view the eclipse after having cataract surgery or a cornea transplant?

A:  As long as patients use the special eclipse glasses, noted with the code ISO 12312-2, this will be fine. These are for sale from the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) and are available at many local libraries. 

Q: Why is this eclipse important?

A: A total eclipse is one of the rarest and most spectacular events in nature. During the partial phases just before and after totality, the landscape around you is transformed by eerie dim light and strangely sharp shadows. During totality, the sky becomes as dark as deep twilight, bright stars, and planets appear, and the Sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, shines around the black disk of the Moon’s silhouette. Changes in temperature, winds, and animal behavior occur during the time around totality.

Q: Where is the best place to watch the solar eclipse?

A: Any location with a clear view of the sky to the east, where the Sun will rise, will be suitable for viewing the solar eclipse. Parks, open fields, or elevated areas away from tall buildings and trees are ideal. This eclipse will be seen from a 122-mile-wide path of totality extending from Durango, Mexico to Dallas, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Watertown, and Plattsburgh; parts of the Montreal area, northern Maine, and New Brunswick. 

Q: When was the last solar eclipse in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region?

A:  Rochester’s last total solar eclipse was on January 24, 1925.

Q: How often do you see a total eclipse of the sun?

A: In any specific place on Earth, a total eclipse of the sun occurs about once per 400 years on average. 

Q: Will there be any events or gatherings to watch the solar eclipse?

A: Check with local astronomy clubs, observatories, or community organizations for any planned events or gatherings to watch the solar eclipse. These groups often organize viewing parties with telescopes and educational activities.

Q: Can the eclipse be clouded out?

A: Unfortunately, this may be possible. Historically, Rochester skies are clear 51 percent of the time on April 8 between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Last year, on April 8, 2023, it was a clear, sunny day.

Q: Should I recycle my glasses after the eclipse?

A:  If you’re not interested in keeping your eclipse glasses as a memento, you can reduce waste by recycling the arms (the parts that sit on your ears). Unfortunately, the lenses aren’t recyclable and must be thrown out.

Q:  Would you like more information? 

A:  Visit the articles at the national site:  
How to Safely Watch the 2024 Solar Eclipse - American Academy of Ophthalmology (

If you still have questions, send us a message through the contact form.