This celestial event occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking all or part of the sun. If you want to witness the Great American Eclipse firsthand, here is what you need to know about watching in the Genesee River Valley. 

Safety first: No, really! Wherever you’re looking at the sun, you'll need protective eyewear to prevent damaging your vision, even during a solar eclipse. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has more information on protecting your vision, including where to find solar viewers or, the less technical term, eclipse glasses. Many retail stores are selling out of glasses. If you find yourself without a pair, read more about other safe ways to view the eclipse. Plus, Livingston County Tourism will be offering glasses, so check back soon about ordering yours!

What to look for: The eclipse will be visible across North America, Livingston County, and the Finger Lakes Region will be in the path of totality, or the area where the moon will completely block the sun. In Caledonia, New York, the point of longest totality in Livingston County (3 minutes and 33 seconds!), you can expect the eclipse to begin by 2:06 p.m., to be at maximum around 3:21 p.m., and to be over by 4:33 p.m.

Where to look: The best viewing locations are places that offer a clear view of the sky, but any viewer should be mobile and ready to move if conditions become unfavorable. In Livingston County, the rural farmlands and open valleys create broad, visible skies. Consider lakefront locations like Conesus Lake or Hemlock Lake or outdoor-adventure destinations like Letchworth State Park or Genesee Valley Greenway State Park. Or spend time in one of our nine villages before viewing the eclipse. There will be a public viewing site in Caledonia at the Livingston County Fairgrounds. See your view of the eclipse, and where you stand in regard to the path of totality.

Weather conditions: If the weather is cloudy or rainy, we won’t see the spectacular image of the corona of the sun directly. But the eclipse will still happen, of course, and the experience of complete darkness in the middle of the afternoon is still a profound personal and community experience; Livingston County's distance from metropolitan light pollution allows our region to fully embrace the dark. The National Centers for Environmental Information created predictions based on the average cloudiness of April in previous years. The National Weather Service is tracking visibility leading up to the eclipse. Keep watching their reports for updates, and happy eclipse viewing.