On April 8, 2024, The Green-Wood Cemetery will be the place to be for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a giant viewing party to witness a partial solar eclipse. Presented with Pioneer Works and the Amateur Astronomers Association, with support from the Simons Foundation as part of its ‘In the Path of Totality’ initiative, this free event is expected to draw thousands of New Yorkers to view this awe-inspiring celestial alignment.
For several minutes, the moon, at 1/400th the size of the sun, will cast its shadow, dimming the magnificent power of our closest star. The temperature will drop, birds (including the famed monk parakeets at Green-Wood’s grand Gothic Arch) will go quiet, and a small part of our world will briefly turn dark. This will be the last partial solar eclipse (when the Moon occults the Sun from our vantage point on Earth) that is visible from the contiguous United States until 2044!
The phenomenon comes around only once every few decades and Green-Wood, known for its historic, serene landscape, is set to provide an exceptional venue for eclipse watchers.
The Cemetery is the ideal setting for this stellar event: it’s the final resting place of writer and astronomer Richard Anthony Proctor, one of the great popularizers of astronomy of the Victorian era who produced one of the first maps of Mars; inventor, author, scientist and philosopher Dr. John William Draper, the first to produce a successful daguerreotype of the moon; and his son, physician and amateur astronomer Henry Draper, who made the first photograph of a spectrum of a star and of a nebula.
Presented by Pioneer Works, Green-Wood, and the Amateur Astronomers Association. This work is supported by the Simons Foundation and is part of its ‘In the Path of Totality’ initiative.
“The physical effects of a solar eclipse are legendary, evoking feelings of connectedness, joy, and humility,” says Harry Weil, Vice President of Education and Public Programs at The Green-Wood Cemetery. “People from around the globe witness this unique spectacle. It’s an experience that has a rare power to bring us closer—to the cosmos and to each other.”
‘It is an astronomical accident that the Moon can completely occult the Sun from our Earthly vantage,’’ said Prof. Janna Levin, astrophysicist from Barnard College of Columbia University and Chief Science Officer at Pioneer Works. ‘‘There will be a last total eclipse of the Sun as the Moon drifts outward. Granted that will be in 650 million years, but just a cosmic reminder that there’s no time like the present.’’
“We are thrilled to offer people the opportunity to view the eclipse up close and safely through our solar-filtered telescopes,” said Rori Baldari, co-chair of the Observing Committee, Amateur Astronomers Association. “While the sun will be just 90% covered by the Moon, this is a celestial wonder that is not to be missed!”
“While New York City isn’t in the path of totality, it is the place we call home,” said John Tracey, Program Director, Science, Society & Culture, at the Simons Foundation. “Given the foundation’s commitment to supporting science research and engagement in New York, it’s important to us to support eclipse celebrations here in the five boroughs.”
The free event will be held in the Meadow and begin at 1:30pm; the partial eclipse will begin at 2:10pm, reach maximum eclipse at 3:25pm, and end at 4:36pm. The special-edition eclipse viewing glasses will be made available on a first-come basis, and attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or something comfortable to sit on.
Free with RSVP – register here: https://www.green-wood.com/event/solar-eclipse-2024.
About Green-Wood: Established in 1838, The Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, is recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful cemeteries. As the permanent residence of over 570,000 individuals, Green-Wood’s magnificent grounds, grand architecture, and world-class statuary have made it a destination for half a million visitors annually, including national and international tourists, New Yorkers, and Brooklynites. At the same time, Green-Wood is also an outdoor museum, an arboretum, and a repository of history. Throughout the year, it offers innovative programs in arts and culture, nature and the environment, education, workforce development, restoration, and research, as well as bold initiatives in climate resiliency and sustainability . For more information, please visit www.green-wood.com.
About Pioneer Works: Pioneer Works is an artist and scientist-led nonprofit cultural center in Red Hook, Brooklyn that fosters innovative thinking through the visual and performing arts, technology, music, and science. The CSO (Chief Science Officer) Janna Levin is a professor of astrophysics at Barnard College / Columbia University. For more information, please visit www.pioneerworks.org.
About the Amateur Astronomers Association: Founded in 1927, Amateur Astronomers Association, Inc. is a 100% volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes the study and public awareness of the cosmos through observing, education, outreach, astrophotography, and more. For more information, please visit www.aaa.org.
The Simons Foundation’s Science, Society and Culture division seeks to provide opportunities for people to forge a connection to science — whether for the first time or a lifetime. Through our initiatives, we work to inspire a feeling of awe and wonder, foster connections between people and science, and support environments that provide a sense of belonging. The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Since its founding in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation has been a champion of basic science through grant funding, support for research and public engagement.
We believe in asking big questions and providing sustained support to researchers working to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Through our work we make space for scientific discovery.
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Get ready for this years Solar Eclipse with some fun activities for kids. We found them in Solar Eclipse 2024: The Complete Kids’ Guide and Activity Book for the Great North American Solar Eclipse