Rochester eclipse: What’s the difference between April’s eclipse and the one back in 2017?

Rochester eclipse: What’s the difference between April’s eclipse and the one back in 2017?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — What makes the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8 different from the eclipse that happened back in 2017?

Here’s what makes the upcoming eclipse a once in a lifetime event for Rochester. It’s not the fact that it’ll go dark in the middle of the afternoon. It’s not the fact that half a million people are expected to visit the Rochester area to see it. It’s the fact that we just so happen to be in a part of the world within the path of totality.

Gregg says: “I remember just a few years back, there was something similar to a solar eclipse. I read that the solar eclipse only happens once in a blue moon, so what was it that occurred a few years ago?”

In August of 2017, Western New York experienced a partial solar eclipse because we weren’t on the path of totality. This April, because the moon will completely block the sun around Rochester, creating a total solar eclipse.

In 2017, the path of totality was between 60 to 70 miles wide, depending on your location. It cut through the U.S. from South Carolina through Oregon.

For April’s eclipse, the path of totality is more than 100 miles wide and includes the Rochester area. It covers a more populated area, with 31 million people living in the path of totality this year. In 2017, it was less than half that.

So, is an eclipse really a once-in-a-lifetime event? No, but being in the path of totality is. The next total solar eclipse that will go through the U.S. is happening in 20 years, on Aug. 23, 2044. News10NBC is Rochester’s Eclipse Headquarters and you can see our complete coverage here.

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