Well, I’m off to see the total eclipse in Clemson, SC which is in the center of the center line of totality. Smack in the middle! A few interesting factoids about eclipses that I have dug up. Remember that 99% might as well be 80% or 70% or any percentage. Only 100% gives you the total darkness and all the crazy effects people crave and travel to see. Total is the only time you can remove your glasses and stare directly at the sun.
1. The next total eclipse of the sun in NYC won’t happen until 2079. But, take heart because in April 2024 there will be a total eclipse that will pass over Buffalo and Rochester. However, Buffalo in April.
2. It’s been 99 years since an eclipse crossed the entire US, but many of us remember the partial one in NYC in 1979, or better yet, remember Delores Claiborne running for her life in Maine at the time of that total eclipse thanks to the story by Stephen King. That totality was six minutes, the one next week is much shorter at just over two minutes.
3. But the absolutely most fascinating factoid is that NYC had a total eclipse in 1925. (New Haven, Ct. as well – my hometown) What’s so fascinating is that it was only total above 96th street in Manhattan. Even more incredible is that if you enlarge the maps, our Franciscan church and friary was literally on the border of total and partial meaning you would be in total coverage on 97th Street, and only partial on 95th. The view or full spectacle of the totality would have depended on whether you looked out the front windows or the back windows of the friary.
4. This time in NYC you will see the sunlight dim on Monday afternoon and probably notice the temperature change.
St. Francis Breadline
Director, Franciscan Bread for The Poor