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Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

The total eclipse of the port

By: Matt Hanes

BROCKPORT, N.Y. — The total solar eclipse that covered Brockport on April 8 was the talk of the town for weeks, with thousands of visitors coming to view the event. While the eclipse was only three and a half minutes long, the rarity of it brought many travelers to Monroe County.  

This awe-inspiring eclipse was slated to create a gigantic turnout. However, cloud coverage over Brockport quickly turned away many tourists. The entire sky during the eclipse was covered with clouds that blocked its view. While many people were disappointed when unable to see the eclipse, the impact that just three and a half minutes of darkness had on the Brockport community was large. 

“I liked that there was kind of a community aspect,” SUNY Brockport student Autumn Alexander said. “Everybody got together, I liked that classes were off so we were able to come together as a community like that. I thought that was executed well and I appreciated the college letting us take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.”  

SUNY Brockport students and travelers witnessing the total solar eclipse make the sky dark on April 8, 2024. (Photo Credit: SUNY Brockport).

SUNY Brockport’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Port’ was loaded with both students and travelers waiting for the eclipse to take place. Everyone was treated to lawn games, food trucks and a total solar eclipse.  

“I think for the most part it was still cool, even though it was cloudy,” meteorology professor Casey Griffin said. “I think the buildup was really important because everyone kind of started talking about the solar system and there was just a lot of interesting community activities for children and all sorts of stuff that inspired them through this event.” 

SUNY Brockport students playing with bubbles before the eclipse takes place on April 8, 2024. (Photo Credit: SUNY Brockport).

Projected numbers before the eclipse estimated around half a million people to be in Monroe County. People with flexible plans took detours to areas with less clouds in the air to get a better view of the eclipse, causing the projected number to drop heavily. Despite the lower than expected attendance numbers, the attention and crowd that was brought to Brockport was special. 

“I thought it was cool that people actually came here to Brockport and picked this spot to come and watch the eclipse. It helped bring light to Brockport and the community having people from outside our area and outside of New York State come here, that’s what made it really awesome for Brockport,” student meteorologist Mathew Quinn said. 

A sky view from SUNY Brockport as the total solar eclipse begins to make the sky dark on April 8, 2024. (Photo Credit: SUNY Brockport).

With this total solar eclipse being many younger people’s first solar eclipse, the importance of an event like this can inspire them to learn more about our solar system. SUNY Brockport meteorology students have been tracking this eclipse for weeks and teachers have been using it to teach as well.  

“A lot of our students had a weather event that inspired them growing up and I’m certain that there’s going to be kids that saw the eclipse that get curious about space and curious about the world in general such as earth sciences. I think that will be a really good thing for every student, and I can’t think of a more breathtaking event that could inspire children,” professor Casey Griffin said.  

A group of SUNY Brockport students posing for a picture at the ‘Total Eclipse of the Port’ event on April 8, 2024. (Photo Credit: SUNY Brockport).

While the total solar eclipse can be glossed over as a disappointment because of the clouds, the event itself and the community connection made it special for thousands of people across Monroe County.  

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