TODAY’S THE DAY: What to know about the solar eclipse in NYC

Total eclipse of the Sun. The moon covers the sun in a solar eclipse
Photo via Getty Images

This afternoon, New York City skies will be graced with a rare solar eclipse that millions will be able to gaze upon with wonder.

Thousands have traveled upstate to experience the total darkness that comes with an eclipse, but there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the day right here in New York City.

Here’s what you should know ahead of eclipse day.

What is a solar eclipse?

According to NASA, a solar eclipse “happens when, at just the right moment, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth.” If you want to experience total darkness, you must be in the line of totality, otherwise you will only experience a partial eclipse.

When is it taking place?

The eclipse will take place on April 8, with New York City reaching its peak between 2:10 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. At its peak in the five boroughs, the sun will be 90% covered.

How can I watch it?

The best way to watch the eclipse is to use eclipse viewing glasses, and no, sunglasses don’t count. You might be thinking, “Do I REALLY need those?” Yes! It can be dangerous to look directly at the eclipse because it can damage your eyes. If you have eclipse glasses from the 2017 partial solar eclipse, those are safe to reuse this time as long as they aren’t warped and don’t have scratches or holes.

However, another way to watch the eclipse if you don’t have the eclipse glasses is to make a pinhole projector. Poke a hole in a piece of cardstock or cardboard, hold it up during the eclipse and look down to see a partial crescent projected onto the ground.

Where can I get free glasses?

There are plenty of places throughout the city handing out free eclipse viewing glasses, until supplies last. There are limited-edition I LOVE NY eclipse glasses at 30 locations throughout the state, and several of the city’s public libraries are handing out free glasses as well. 

Revo, located at 436 W Broadway in SoHo, giving away free viewing glasses to anyone who stops by their new flagship store, while supplies last.

Click here for some more spots to buy glasses.

Are there watch parties happening?

Heck yeah, there are! Though we won’t get full totality in New York City, there are still plenty of places throughout the Big Apple that are  hosting viewing parties, including One World Observatory, the Intrepid Museum, Top of the Rock, and the New York Hall of Science. Be sure to check out New York Family’s full list of family-friendly eclipse events in New York City, Long Island and beyond.

What’s the weather like for today?

Monday started off bright and sunny in New York, and it’s expected to remain that way during the eclipse. According to weather.com, partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected during the eclipse period, with highs going into the low 60s.

Stay with amNY.com all day today for more coverage of the solar eclipse.