Solar Eclipse Aug. 21: A Local Guide

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest in environmental or astronomical news, then you probably know that a very special day is coming. On August 21st there will be a total solar eclipse! The path of totality stretches from Oregon down to North and South Carolina. However, even if you can’t schedule in a road trip, there are local places here in the Hudson Valley offering a space to watch it for free, partial or not! The next total eclipse won’t be until 2024 and this is the first eclipse that will be visible across the entire United States in decades.

Photo courtesy of NASA

So without further ado, here are a few places where you can watch the solar eclipse from right here in the Hudson Valley on August 21:

Albany County:

Albany : Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center, eclipse-viewing party from 1 p.m. until the eclipse is over. The Henry Hudson Planetarium will host  a special star show from 1 to 2 p.m. A $4 per person fee includes the cost of viewing glasses. Space is limited. For more information: 518-434-0405.

Dutchess County: 

Rhinebeck: Starr Library, free eclipse-viewing party, 1 to 3:30 p.m. with safety glasses, iced tea, and snacks! You can register here or call 845-876-4030.

Red Hook: Red Hook Public Library will host a solar eclipse-viewing party at Linden Avenue Middle School, 65 W Market Street, noon to 3 p.m.. They will provide safe viewing glasses free of charge and physics and astronomy activities for the whole family, including demonstrations on how solar eclipses work. Free and open to the public. For more information call at 845-758-3421.

Tivoli: The Tivoli Free Library will host a special viewing event at the Memorial Park from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Participants will also need to bring an empty cereal box to make a viewer and the library will provide the rest of materials. Snacks will be provided but bringing your own food is encouraged. Call/email at (845) 757-3771 or Details.

Putnam County:

Putnam Valley: The Putnam Valley Library will host an eclipse-viewing at the Putnam Valley Town Park from 1:45 to 3:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Science teacher Fred DePalma will be there to explain what is happening as it takes place. Eclipse glasses will be provided to all participants (while supplies last) and refreshments will be available for purchase. Details.

Mahopac: Mahopac Marina will host a solar eclipse-viewing event that is free and open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. Registration is not required and special eclipse-viewing glasses will not be provided, so participants will need to bring their own, or bring an eclipse viewer. If you need help making one, here are instructions on how to make a simple one out of a cereal box. In this particular location, the eclipse will begin at 1:23 p.m. and reach its maximum around 2:44 p.m.

Ulster County:

New Paltz:  Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association, eclipse-viewing party at the Coykendall Science Building, SUNY New Paltz, 1 to 4:00 p.m. The event is free and no registration is required. Bring a shoe box if you’d like to learn to make a pin-hole camera to project the image of the eclipse. Details.

Westchester County:

Yonkers: The Hudson River Museum will host an eclipse event that is free and open to the public from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Eclipse glasses are available for purchase for $2 each. Participants can make pinhole projections and model the earth-moon system in interactive workshops. Beginning at 1 p.m., the HRM will show a live stream of the full eclipse from Oregon alongside some simulations, or participants can view the partial solar eclipse from the HRM courtyard. Details.


Where will you go on August 21 to experience the eclipse?

Want to know more about an eclipse? why it happens, how it happens, maps of the path of totality, and eclipse safety, check these out!

Eclipse 101, NASA

Natural Phenomena: 2017 Eclipse,  National Park Service

Solar Eclipse Across America, American Astronomical Society

Everything you need to know about the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Washington Post