Safety Information for Upcoming Solar Eclipse

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Next week, on Monday, April 8, parts of Central New York, including our campus, will be in the path of the solar eclipse. While this is an exciting event that will bring many visitors to our region, I want you to be aware of the impact the eclipse can have on our community’s safety and well-being. I ask that you please review the following message carefully in preparation of the solar eclipse, which includes answers to the following questions:

  • What is a solar eclipse?
  • How can I stay safe while viewing the solar eclipse?
  • When will the solar eclipse happen?
  • What are the travel implications?
  • Where can I learn more about the solar eclipse?

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, thus blocking the sun and casting the moon’s shadow partially or totally over a small path on Earth. During a total solar eclipse, “totality” will result in the appearance of evening like darkness as the moon covers the sun.

A total solar eclipse is what will occur on April 8. Syracuse is situated very close to the eastern limit of the eclipse path, with relatively modest durations of totality.

How can I stay safe while viewing the solar eclipse?

The most important consideration for viewing a solar eclipse is eye safety. Please follow these safety reminders if you plan on observing the eclipse:

  • The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers.
  • Ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit far more sunlight than is safe for our eyes.
  • Inspect your eclipse glasses before use; if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard it.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device.
  • For those inside the path of totality on April 8, remove your eclipse glasses only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.

For more information on eye safety and additional safety measures to consider, please visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) eclipse safety webpage.

When will the solar eclipse happen?

The path of the eclipse means it will reach the Central New York area after 2 p.m. on Monday, April 8. Here is the exact timing for the eclipse in Syracuse:

  • Start of partial eclipse: 2:09 p.m.
  • Start of total eclipse: 3:23:12 p.m.
  • End of total eclipse: 3:24:15 p.m.
  • End of partial eclipse: 4:34 p.m.

For those observing the eclipse in Syracuse, you can expect totality to last for approximately 1 minute and 3 seconds. Totality will occur for longer periods north of the Syracuse area. To explore the path of the eclipse and duration of totality, visit the National Eclipse website.

What are the travel implications?

The Central New York area, especially areas more north toward the middle of path, are expecting a large influx of visitors to view the eclipse. Please be mindful of the potential for increased traffic on April 8. You may need to adjust travel plans, especially if traveling before or immediately after the eclipse is over.

It is worth noting that a common issue following past solar eclipses is that many vehicles have run out of gas being stuck in heavy traffic. Be sure to have a full tank of gas for your vehicles if you plan on traveling during or after the eclipse and have a secondary route in mind to avoid the traffic altogether.

Where can I learn more about the solar eclipse?

I urge our campus community to read more about solar eclipses and follow safety guidelines provided from trusted agencies. Here are some additional resources to check out ahead of April 8:

Thank you for your attention to this message. And, as a reminder, the Department of Public Safety is always working and available to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 315.443.2224.


Chief Craig A. Stone
Department of Public Safety
Student Experience Division