Partial solar eclipse visible in Buffalo at dawn Thursday

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(WIVB) – There’s a rare astronomical event happening at sunrise on Thursday — and it’ll be worth getting up early for.

A partial solar eclipse will occur at dawn on June 10. The maximum eclipse will happen at 5:39 a.m., three minutes after sunrise.

Because the moon will be partially (78.8 percent) blocking the sun, the sun will look like a crescent shape as it rises that morning.

The event will make for a very unique sunrise in Western New York, which falls in the penumbra of the eclipse.

“It’s going to be much more faded colors than you normally get,” explained Tim Collins, observatory manager for the Kellogg Observatory and communication education instructor for the Williamsville Space Lab Planetarium said. “Someone might think something is wrong.”

The last time an annular eclipse like the one coming up on June 10 happened over Buffalo was May 1994.

The eclipse will be happening very low in the sky on June 10, so to view it, you’ll need favorable weather conditions and a clear east/northeast horizon, as well as spot that gets you as high as possible.

“If there are trees or houses in the way, you’re not going to be able to have a direct line with the sun until it’s risen,” said Mark Percy, director of the Williamsville Space Lab Planetarium said. “The amount of sun covered by the moon will decrease as the morning goes on.”

You’ll also need safety equipment to safely enjoy the eclipse.

“Complete eye safety- that’s number one in any type of solar-driven event,” Collins added. “You want to protect your eyes, you don’t want to look directly at the sun if you can avoid it.”

If you have a pair of solar glasses left over from the 2017 solar eclipse, those will work for viewing the June 10 eclipse.

You can also make a pinhole projector, or create a viewer using a cereal or shipping box.

There’s also the Miller Mirror projection technique, which involves covering a mirror with paper or an envelope that has a dime-sized hole in it and using it to project the sun’s image can be projected into a dark area.

Click here for more instructions on making your own viewing device.

On April 8, 2024, Buffalo will be in the path of a total solar eclipse. Western New York will experience about three minutes and thirty seconds of darkness depending on location, Collins said.

“One of the more striking things about a total solar eclipse is the wildlife reaction- to go from cicadas to crickets in a matter of minutes and then back again,” he added.

The last time Buffalo had a total, direct solar eclipse was in Jan. 1925, and the next one won’t be until Oct. 2144.

You can find out more information on the upcoming eclipse at buffaloeclipse.org.

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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