Hundreds View Solar Eclipse At Martz Observatory

Pictured, from top to bottom: Hundreds came out to the Martz Observatory on Monday to get a glimpse of the solar eclipse. Individuals had the chance to view the eclipse inside and outside the observatory

FREWSBURG — Hundreds came out to the Martz Observatory on Monday to view the spectacle that was the solar eclipse.

Cars lined both sides of Robbin Hill Road as people walked up to the observatory to view the eclipse. Many individuals placed chairs outside the observatory where they put glasses on to view the sequence of events. Other people spent their time inside viewing the eclipse from a television screen. People also had the chance to see the eclipse from telescopes stationed on an observatory deck.

“No one thought there’d be this many people,” said one area resident. “Fun is being had by all.”

The observatory was open throughout the day to the public and members for a solar eclipse viewing. Around 350 glasses were handed out at the observatory to visitors.

Richard Carlson, secretary for the Martz Observatory, said the eclipse is a big national deal as it’s been a while since one has been viewed on the continental U.S. From Buffalo to Pennsylvania, he said people from all over the area came to the observatory to check out the eclipse.

“It’s wonderful to see the great crowd we have,” Carlson said. “This is where it’s at. If you want to see anything, we’re at the second highest elevation in Chautauqua County.”

The eclipse began locally just after 1:10 p.m. with maximum coverage of the sun occurring around 2:30 p.m. The eclipse went on until about 3:50 p.m. to bring the time of the eclipse to two hours and 41 minutes.

Carlson said individuals viewed a partial solar eclipse from the area as the moon covered 74 percent of sun’s visible surface. Hot temperatures felt Monday were cooled a degree or two as the moon moved its way in front of the sun.

John Anderson, treasurer, said Monday’s solar eclipse brought one of the higher number of people to the Martz Observatory for functions and events. This was the second eclipse he’s seen in his time.

“I remember during the 70s I saw one that was up in Bergman Park,” he said.

According to Carlson, the next major solar eclipse in the area will be April 8, 2024. Carlson said it will be a total eclipse over the observatory.

Overall, Carlson said he was pleased with Monday’s turnout for the solar eclipse.

“The eclipse can be viewed anywhere, but we’re glad people came to the observatory to check it out,” he said.

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