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The Stylus

Brockport’s five seconds of fame

Photo credit: Eric Merrill via Flickr Creative Commons

On April 8, 2024, those in the line of totality will be able to view the once-in-a-lifetime event, a total solar eclipse. As anticipation builds and preparations are made, it is important to see what the students and staff here at SUNY Brockport think.  

Earth science professor Scott Rochette describes why Brockport is the ideal spot to catch the eclipse in action. 

“An eclipse is a rare event for most people,” said Rochette. “Brockport just so happens to be in the perfect location, right along the centerline of the path of totality, which means people here will experience totality for the longest possible time (almost four minutes).  If the skies are clear, the stars will be visible during the afternoon.”  

Junior and campus celebrity Mathew Quinn adds to the importance of this eclipse compared to the one that happened in 2017. 

“The difference between this eclipse and the one in 2017 is not the eclipse itself because both are solar eclipses,” said Quinn. “The difference will be how visible it will be here in Brockport. We are lucky to be getting totality because of it passing right over Brockport. The one in 2017 passed the United States in a totally different direction meaning the eclipse was not visible for those in the area.” 

To prepare for the total solar eclipse, Brockport is having students enrolled in meteorology classes take part in an experiment alongside students from the University of New Haven.   

We are working with a group from the University of New Haven that is launching weather balloons once an hour from Sunday afternoon through Monday evening. In doing so we are hoping to capture the reduced solar radiation in the earth that could cause local and widespread atmospheric changes,” said Rochette. 

Weather plays a huge role in the eclipse. Because of this, SUNY Brockport students have been monitoring the weather in hopes of clear skies. 

“In order to prepare for the event, I started providing the weather forecast for the day of the eclipse in my daily weather reports on Snapchat. As a department we have also been looking at the forecast daily in hopes that the weather holds out,” said Quinn. 

This eclipse may also provoke observable shifts in the behavior of animals, offering a fascinating insight into how they respond to this celestial event. If you find yourself in or around Brockport during this time, you might notice an unusual quietness. This phenomenon occurs because the birds that are usually chirping during the day are now adjusting their behavior to mimic nighttime routines influenced by the eclipse. 

To make up for this unusual quietness caused by the eclipse, SUNY Brockport is hosting a multitude of events you can participate in throughout the day of the event, including live performances and food trucks on campus.  

 Don’t forget to pick up a special pair of eclipse glasses to safely view this once-in-a-lifetime event and immerse yourself fully in the awe-inspiring beauty that is the total solar eclipse. 

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