Not A Total Eclipse, But New York Had A Special Day Nonetheless

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Ampersand Mountain Summit. photo credits: Nancy Coddington 


​New Yorkers who stayed in-state didn’t see the total eclipse of the sun on Monday. But that didn’t stop people from enjoying the moment. People gathered from all over the state to watch the solar eclipse happen in a variety of places. As Director of Science at WSKG, I had a personal interest in watching the eclipse from a unique vantage point.  That led me to hike up Ampersand Mountain in the Adirondacks with my family. We chose this hike because it has great views of the surrounding High Peaks Wilderness area and an open summit, which offered many open outcroppings for viewing. ​

Families from across New York donning their eclipse glasses to protect their eyes.

      Families donning their protective glasses while viewing the solar eclipse. 

About 30 people from several states hiked to the top of Ampersand Mountain in the Adirondacks. Here’s a description of what I saw during the solar eclipse.

 Many on the mountain were up there enjoying vacation with their loved ones. I even witnessed a couple get engaged during the eclipse. John Hancock dropped to one knee on the summit and proposed to his girlfriend, who screamed yes for all to hear. It was a great moment to witness. The groom-to-be said he wanted to propose on a special day, and, as a practical matter, that it was going to rain on Tuesday.

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 Newly engaged couple enjoying the views and eclipse. 

Special glasses, of course, were required to safely view the solar eclipse – these were either purchased ahead of time or obtained from local libraries such as the Southworth Library in Dryden, NY where I stopped in to get my pair back in July.


Chelsea Benson of Ithaca went to the top of Ampersand Mountain with her husband and her three-year-old twins. The family did get to borrow some glasses so they didn’t damage their retinas.

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    Benson family leaving the summit of Ampersand post eclipse excitement. 
At peak eclipse, New Yorkers saw the moon cover between 60 and 70 percent of the sun. Not a hundred percent, but still memorable.

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