Eclipse Details For New England, And A Warning From Eye Docs

Aug 20, 2017

Nearly 66 percent of the sun will be covered in Springfield, Mass., when the eclipse takes its maximum effect at 2:45 Monday afternoon.

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The timing, and the percentage of "obscuration," vary a little across the region, according to NASA:

  • Pittsfield, Mass.: maximum effect (65.8 percent) at 2:43 p.m.
  • Greenfield, Mass.: maximum effect (64.6 percent) at 2:44 p.m.
  • Worcester, Mass.: maximum effect (64.4 percent) at 2:45 p.m.
  • Boston, Mass.: maximum effect (63.1 percent) at 2:46 p.m.
  • Hartford, Conn.: maximum effect (66.8 percent) at 2:45 p.m.
  • New Haven, Conn.: maximum effect (68.5 percent) at 2:45 p.m.
  • Providence, R.I.: maximum effect (65.0 percent) at 2:47 p.m.
  • Brattleboro, Vt.: maximum effect (63.8 ¬†percent) at 2:43 p.m.
  • Keene, N.H.: maximum effect (63.3 percent) at 2:44 p.m.

Eye Doctors Concerned

Even without a total solar eclipse in New England, it'll be exciting enough to get a lot of folks looking to the sky. And if they do so without special eclipse glasses, they might end up in the office of Springfield ophthalmologist Andrew Lam.

"The sun is basically a very powerful source of energy; it's literally like a huge fusion reactor in the sky," Lam said. "And staring at it could literally burn a hole in your retina."

Lam specializes in retina issues, such as those caused by looking for just a few seconds at the sun. But it doesn't come up much.

"It has been years since I've seen a solar maculopathy case," he said. "I'm knocking on wood here, but I'm hoping we do not have any cases of this [this week]."

Those eclipse glasses are not easy to get at this point. (And if you did get a pair, NASA warns that you should make sure they comply with the international safety standard.)

Lam thought ahead, went online and ordered some for his staff.