An event of astronomical proportions is poised to captivate the city of Erie on April 8, 2024, and Gannon University has a front-row seat. So, grab your popcorn and protective eyewear. A total solar eclipse is something you won’t want to miss. In fact, it's an event the city of Erie won’t observe again for over a century.
What to expect
The eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean and cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada. Erie is the only city in Pennsylvania positioned directly in the “line of totality,” meaning that the sun will completely disappear behind the moon, dimming the daytime sky for nearly four minutes.
“Anybody who has even a mild curiosity in astronomy should be excited about this event,” said David Horne, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics. “We here at Gannon would really like to share this experience with the Gannon community and the rest of the public, including informing people on safe ways to view the eclipse and how to get the most enjoyment out of the experience.”
- 2:02 PM to 3:16 PM | Observe only with eclipse glasses or solar filters. Wait time: 1 hr. 14 mins.
- 3:16 PM | Safe to observe without glasses or solar filters. Totality duration: 3 min. 41.8 secs.
- 3:20 PM to 4:30 PM | Observe only with eclipse glasses or solar filters. Wait time: 1 hr. 10 mins.
How Gannon is preparing
People from all over the world will be traveling to Erie to see this event, from professional astronomers to hobbyists alike. Leading to it, Horne and the university are working to educate the public on the eclipse in many ways.
Coordinated classroom and community visits are providing local students with information about total solar eclipses, with a video on safe eclipse viewing practices and a precise timeline for the Erie area. Solar eclipse safety glasses are also being distributed.
Gannon is planning for an unforgettable experience for all eclipse enthusiasts.
Public viewing sites are planned across multiple campus and community locations on the day of the eclipse, including McConnell Family Stadium, Friendship Green, Perry Square and the Erie Children’s Museum, as well as a live broadcast from Gannon’s student-run radio station, 90.5 WERG.
As more arrangements for the day unfold, organizers promise the event will be one worth looking forward to experiencing.
In an interview with Erie Times-News, Horne expressed, “Even if people feel they are prepared for it, the sun is one of those things that we take for granted so much. When it disappears like that you will be surprised, and it will be spectacular.”