LaGuardia to Host Observation Event for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

LaGuardia to Host Observation Event for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse
Image taken during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse; provided by the LaGuardia Society of Physics Students.

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (April 3, 2024) — LaGuardia Community College/CUNY’s CUNY 2X Tech Career Program and CUNY Research Scholars Program (CRSP), in collaboration with the Bangladesh Student Association and Society of Physics student clubs, will host an observation event for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, April 8, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Cobblestone Courtyard. LaGuardia faculty, students, and staff are invited to attend. The maximum eclipse is expected to occur at approximately 3:25 p.m.

“The 2024 eclipse should be an exciting event—in New York City, we’re expected to see 90% totality,” said Dr. Allyson Sheffield, Professor of Physics at LaGuardia. “For comparison, during the last eclipse in 2017, there was 70% totality in NYC.” 

“In preparation for the upcoming April 8th Great Solar Eclipse, we have taken several steps and initiatives to ensure that the college is fully aware of and prepared for such a remarkable and rare event as a solar eclipse,” said Dr. Roman Senkov, Associate Professor of Physics in the Natural Sciences Department, Co-Director of the CRSP program, Advisor of the LaGuardia Chapter of Society of Physics Students, and Editor-in-Chief of Ad Astra, LaGuardia’s Undergraduate Research Newsletter. 

Dr. Senkov advises people to never look directly at the sun during an eclipse, because doing so can cause permanent eye damage. Instead, people are encouraged to wear solar eclipse glasses for safe viewing. Dr. Senkov said there will be 60 solar eclipse glasses available for participants to share during the solar eclipse viewing.  

LaGuardia student and amateur astronomer Amaru Alzogaray, a Liberal Arts: Math and Science major, published an article in the latest issue of Ad Astra,” titled, “April 8th, 2024: Great Solar Eclipse,” which details the basic physics behind eclipse phenomena and our civilization’s history of fascination with solar eclipses. Dr. Senkov says Amaru’s article is a helpful resource for anyone who wants to learn more. 

As part of the viewing, the Society of Physics Students at LaGuardia has invited Dr. Axel Mellinger, a physics faculty member and astrophotographer at Central Michigan University, to share his expertise in photographing solar eclipses. In 2017, Dr. Mellinger made a time lapse video of a solar eclipse, which can be viewed HERE. Dr. Mellinger led a discussion about his work on Wednesday, April 3, from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. via Zoom. 

Total solar eclipses present a challenge to astrophotographers due to their rarity and brief duration,” writes Dr. Mellinger. “The intense light from the partially eclipsed sun can damage your camera’s shutter in seconds. As such, meticulous planning and the right equipment are crucial for capturing stunning eclipse photos.” 

CUNY 2X Tech at LaGuardia offers students a path to internships, apprenticeships, and jobs in computer related majors. The program, funded by the Office of the New York City Mayor, launched in 2018 at seven CUNY senior colleges to increase the number of CUNY students who graduate each year with a tech-related bachelor’s and are prepared to launch careers in the NYC tech ecosystem.  

In 2023, Mayor Eric Adams expanded CUNY 2X Tech to the seven CUNY community colleges. LaGuardia students interested in applying for a CUNY 2X Tech internship are encouraged to visit the CUNY 2X website to learn about the benefit of joining the program and apply. The program is led by Dr. Abderrazak Belkharraz Idrissi, Chair of the Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science (MEC) Department, and Dr. Praveen Khethavath, Deputy Chair of MEC and Director of Computer Science.  

CRSP provides funded laboratory experiences for associate degree students over a one-year period. It is led by Dr. Senkov and Dr. Nathan Hosannah, Associate Professor in the MEC Department, and is supported by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). LaGuardia students interested in applying for CRSP are encouraged to fill out this form.

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


Press Information

For press information, please contact: