campus news

What UB community needs to know for total solar eclipse

Conceptualization of a total solar eclipse as it would appear at Baird Point on UB North Campus. Text overlay reads, "Total solar eclipse Monday, April 8, 2024.".


Published March 29, 2024


On April 8, Western New York will experience a total solar eclipse for the first time in nearly a century — a phenomenon of its kind that the region won't see again until 2144.

"The total solar eclipse has generated tremendous anticipation and excitement across our region," says President Satish K. Tripathi. "With Buffalo on the eclipse centerline — and weather permitting — we will be treated to an awe-inspiring view of one of the most spectacular phenomena in nature."

The eclipse is expected to bring more than one million visitors to the Buffalo region. In anticipation of this significant event, UB has canceled all in-person classes on Monday, April 8, and is encouraging employees to work remotely where operationally feasible.

Although the campus will be quieter than usual, the university will remain open on April 8 to support residential students and others on campus that day. Below, you will find information the UB community needs to know to prepare for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Campus viewing update

The university invites faculty, staff and students who will be on the North and South campuses on April 8 to gather to view the total solar eclipse from its partial start at 2:04 p.m. to its partial end at 4:32 p.m. Those on the North Campus can gather at the grassy field along Lee Road near Lake LaSalle and the University Bookstore; those on the South Campus can view outside Harriman Hall. Both locations will have snacks and solar eclipse glasses.

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space will also be launching a weather balloon 80,000 feet into the air at the field along Lee Road at 1 p.m.

These events are not open to the broader community or those traveling from outside the area to view the eclipse. Please visit the eclipse website to learn more.

In addition to the on-campus activities, the UB Art Galleries is celebrating the total solar eclipse with a special exhibition and installation, as well as a watch party, all at the UB Anderson Gallery.

Where to find eclipse glasses at UB

UB faculty, staff and students are eligible to receive solar eclipse-viewing glasses approved by the American Astronomical Society. Glasses can be picked up at several locations on the North, South and Downtown campuses.

North Campus locations

1 Capen

  • March 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • April 1-5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

226 Baird Hall

  • March 29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • April 1-5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Student Union Ticket Office, 221 Student Union

  • March 29, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • April 1-5, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

South Campus locations

Harriman Hall information desk

  • March 29, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • April 1-5, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Downtown Campus locations

Main Street and High Street security office, 955 Main St.

  • March 29, available 24 hours
  • April 1-5, available 24 hours

Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions security desk

  • March 29, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • April 1-5, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Clinical and Translational Research Center atrium

  • March 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • April 1-5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What to expect during the eclipse

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon completely blocks the face of the sun. People viewing the eclipse from locations in the “path of totality” will experience a total solar eclipse. The solar eclipse — including the partial phases before and after the eclipse — will begin at 2:05 p.m. and end at 4:31 p.m. Totality will occur at 3:18 p.m. and last about four minutes. During totality, the sky will darken, as if it were dawn or dusk.

A person wearing eclipse glasses looks up toward the sun.

Photo: Douglas Levere

How to safely view the eclipse

It’s not safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. Viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

When watching the partial phases of the solar eclipse directly with your eyes, which happens before and after totality, you must look through safe solar-viewing glasses (eclipse glasses) or a safe handheld solar viewer at all times. Only during the brief phase of totality is it safe to look at the sun without protective eyewear. Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the sun. Learn more about NASA's eye safety during a total solar eclipse.

Also read: What you need to know about viewing the total solar eclipse

In-person classes canceled

In anticipation of very significant traffic and congestion associated with the solar eclipse and in support of our local communities, UB is canceling all in-person classes on April 8 and encouraging instructors to offer classes remotely. If instructors elect to shift to remote instruction, they must provide asynchronous options for students who are unable to access remote classes in real time.

Employees encouraged to consider remote work

UB is providing discretion for supervisors to assess operational need that day, to anticipate meeting that need and then consider remote work opportunities for all other employees. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so supervisors are encouraged to be as flexible as possible.

All employees required to be, or who elect to be, on campus that day should check with their supervisors regarding any possible changes in reporting times or schedules on April 8. Employees reporting to campus on April 8 should anticipate heavier than normal traffic and allow for additional travel time.

If employees are unable to work remotely and will not report to campus the day of the eclipse, leave accruals must be charged as appropriate. Managers who have specific questions are encouraged to call Employee Relations at (716) 645-8169.

Adjusted operational schedule

While the university will remain open on April 8 to provide continuity of operations for students, many units will be operating on an adjusted schedule to allow employees to experience the eclipse.

  • Buses will pause operations from 2:15-4:15 p.m.
  • Campus Dining and Shops will pause operations from 3-3:45 p.m.
  • Student Health Services will close all departments (Health Promotion, Counseling Services and Student Health Services) at 2 p.m. Students who need to contact a nurse after hours can call Student Health Services at 716-829-3316, then press 7 to reach the after-hours nurse.

Visit Campus Shops and Dining, Student Health Services, University Libraries and Parking and Transportation’s bus and shuttle schedules to stay up to date.

How to prepare if you’re traveling on April 8

An influx of visitors could lead to issues with transportation systems and cellular networks, delayed emergency responses, and cause an increase in the need for fuel, food and other resources. If you need to travel in or out of the area on April 8, make sure to fill up your fuel the night before and have food and water in your vehicle.

Not a Campus Community Member?

 Please visit the Buffalo Eclipse website for community viewing locations.

Published April 1, 2024