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Monday, April 17, 2017

Buffalo State hosts training for 2017 Great American Eclipse

All WNY News     Monday, April 17, 2017    

STAFF REPORTS
news@allwnynews.com



BUFFALO -- For the first time since 1918, the shadow of the moon will sweep across the entire continental United States. An estimated 50 million Americans will be in the “path of totality,” experiencing a complete solar eclipse on Aug. 21. In Western New York, viewers will see a partial eclipse: about 77 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon.

In preparation for the event, Buffalo State will host a training session for volunteers, teachers, and staff of participating organizations at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium. The training will be held on Thursday because the sun will be following the same path as on Aug. 21, the date of the eclipse.

“The path of totality is the path, about 70 miles wide, where the eclipse is total,” said Kevin Williams, associate professor of earth sciences and science education and director of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium. “It’s a huge event—hotels in the path of this year’s eclipse have been booked for months, even years.”

Preparation for 2024

In 2024, Western New York will be in the direct path of totality during another total solar eclipse. Williams said, “We are working with the Buffalo Eclipse Consortium to prepare not only for this summer’s eclipse, but to develop partnerships for 2024.”

Williams is leading Buffalo State’s role in the Buffalo Eclipse Consortium. Williams, with Buffalo State alumnus Mark Percy, director of the Williamsville Space Lab Planetarium, will be on hand Thursday to present the training. “Safety is critically important,” said Percy, “and we will have equipment on hand to demonstrate how to see the eclipse safely.”

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