9 October 2023 • STEM Partial Solar Eclipse Watch Party

Associate Professor of Physics Leslie Hebb will host a viewing party for the partial solar eclipse that will take place on Saturday, Oct. 14.

As an astronomy researcher specializing in the study of the stars and extrasolar planets, Associate Professor of Physics Leslie Hebb will offer her expertise during the partial solar eclipse that will pass Geneva, N.Y. on Saturday, Oct. 14 starting at 12:01 p.m. with maximum blockage of the Sun at 1:14 p.m. The eclipse will end at 2:28 p.m.

The Partial Solar Eclipse Watch Party is part of HWS’ Year of the Sun.

Hebb will provide a telescope and answer questions from participants as they view of the Sun during the partial eclipse. It will be held at the lake front near the Finger Lakes Welcome Center between noon and 2 p.m. Weather issues: The event will be held if it is overcast and cloudy but will be canceled if there is rain.

Hebb will be joined by Hobart and William Smith students in conjunction with the campus’ Fall Day of Service. 

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. On this day, other parts of the U.S. will experience an Annular eclipse, where even though the Moon is in the perfect position to pass directly in front of the Sun for certain locations on Earth, it is not actually big enough to fully block the Sun.

Hebb further explains, “Because the Moon’s orbit is not circular and instead travels on an elliptical orbit around the Earth, its distance from the Earth changes over the course of the lunar month. Even though the actual physical size of the Moon doesn't change, it appears larger or smaller in the sky because its distance from Earth is changing. When the Moon is at its closest distance from Earth, it appears larger in the sky than when it is at its farthest distance. This eclipse (Oct. 14) is occurring when the Moon is near its farthest distance from the Earth causing the Moon to not fully block the Sun like it will for us on April 8, 2024.”

The Partial Solar Eclipse Watch Party is part of HWS’ Year of the Sun events, a series of lectures, programs and activities throughout the 2023-24 academic year leading up to the total solar eclipse that will pass directly over the HWS campus next April. Leading up to the eclipse, Year of the Sun events will explore the sun’s scientific, cultural and historical significance.

Pictured above, Associate Professor of Physics Leslie Hebb (center, left) hosts a solar eclipse party on June 10, 2021.