Solar Eclipse Coming Monday

 Solar Eclipse Coming Monday

By Katie McFadden

On Monday, April 8, Rockaway will once again have the chance to see a solar eclipse. On August 21, 2017, Rockaway had views of a 71% covered sun during the eclipse. This time, we’ll get to see even more. On the peninsula, we’ll get to see nearly 90% of the sun covered during Monday’s eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby obscuring the view of the Sun from a small part of the Earth, totally or partially. On Monday, the total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of 15 states. Parts of upstate New York, like Rochester, will get to see the total solar eclipse.

The solar eclipse will begin at 2:10 p.m. The maximum eclipse, with 89.19% coverage here in Rockaway, will occur at 3:25 p.m. The eclipse will end at 4:36 p.m., when the sun will again be in full view.

And even though we’ll only get a nearly total eclipse, it’s worth taking a peek. Just make sure you have your solar eclipse glasses or a viewing box ready, as it’s unsafe to stare directly at the sun. Do not attempt to look directly at the sun during any phase of the eclipse, as it can cause severe damage to your eyes. Even regular sunglasses are not sufficient.

Some places will have some viewing glasses available. Queens Lib­rary is teaming up with NASA to provide eclipse fact sheets and solar eclipse glasses at all Queens Library locations, while supplies last, so stop by for your pair. Seaside Library (116-15 Rockaway Beach Blvd.) will have an educational viewing event beginning at 1 p.m.

A couple local restaurants are also getting into the fun by hosting solar eclipse parties and will be providing some viewing glasses. Bungalow Bar (377 Beach 92nd Street) is accepting reservations for those who want to watch the eclipse while enjoying stellar snacks or a few cosmic cocktails on the back deck, providing great views of the sun on the bayside. They’ll have viewing glasses for the first 100 customers.  Call 718-945-2100 to reserve a table.

Rockaway Tiki Bar (67-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd.) will kick off the eclipse fun at 1 p.m. They’ll have cosmic cocktails, good tunes and viewing glasses will be available for the first 50 customers.

Callies (410A Beach 129th Street) will also be hosting an eclipse viewing party starting at 3 p.m. Grab a drink and a late lunch while you watch. Viewing glasses will be provided.

While the last total solar eclipse was just seven years ago, seeing one is rare. Prior to 2017, the last solar eclipse to be seen from the United States was back in February 1979, with a few northwestern states getting to see it in totality. The last total solar eclipse to be seen in New York City was in January 1925. So, if you can, take a look, but make sure you have eye protection. Another total solar eclipse won’t be visible in parts of the U.S. until 2044.

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