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What To Know Ahead Of The Solar Eclipse On April 8

A once-in-a-lifetime event will be overhead Happy Valley.

On Monday, April 8, a solar eclipse will be visible across North and Central America, including State College and Central Pennsylvania. This is the first total solar eclipse visible in the United States since 2017.

Folks in the State College area can expect the solar eclipse to last nearly 2.5 hours during the afternoon. Fortunately for Pennsylvanians, the path of totality is just a few hundred miles away. The path is projected to head over most of Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania, including the fourth most populated city, Erie.

Here in State College, the partial solar eclipse is slated to begin at 2:04 p.m. and last until 4:32 p.m., and the moon will reach maximum coverage over the sun at 3:20 p.m. Centre County is one of the fortunate areas next to the path of totality that will experience nearly complete coverage at 95%.

The State College Spikes and the Penn State Eberly College of Science will host SolarFest at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for folks to watch the eclipse. Admission is free and eclipse glasses will be provided. Gates to the event open at noon.

None of this will matter if Mother Nature decides not to cooperate. If clouds roll over the Appalachian Mountains, the eclipse will not be visible to anyone on the ground. As of now, AccuWeather is calling for partial sunshine and a 25% chance of precipitation on Monday. It’s also noted the temperature could drop several degrees during the eclipse.

The next total solar eclipse over the United States won’t occur until August 2044, and that eclipse is only expected to be visible in Montana and North Dakota.

In 2017, the path of totality didn’t occur near State College or the rest of Pennsylvania, and the maximum totality lasted about half as long as it will this time around. The Keystone State hasn’t had the privilege of viewing a total solar eclipse since 1806.

Viewers are advised to wear protective glasses during the eclipse. Those who don’t take the necessary safety precautions and look directly into the sun could have their vision impacted.

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About the Author

CJ Gill

CJ is a sophomore from McVeytown, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism and an associate editor at Onward State. He's a huge Phillies fan, which has its pro and cons come October. You can send all disagreements to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CJGill14.

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