Eclipse Event on April 8, 2024

The following article was submitted by the Oil Region Astronomical Society (ORAS), a member of the Venango Chamber.

Local Observatory Invites Public to April 8 Total Solar Eclipse Event

The Oil Region Astronomical Society (ORAS) will be hosting an Eclipse 2024 event that is open and free to the public ( “If you miss this one, you will have to wait another 75 years to see a total solar eclipse from this part of the country, so don’t miss out,” said Tim Spuck, longtime ORAS member and astronomy educator.

The rare “double diamond” captured during the July 2, 2019 total solar eclipse in Chile (Photo by T. Spuck)

A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves in between the Earth and Sun, casting its shadow onto the Earth. “I’ve been fortunate enough to see two recent total solar eclipses, one from Wyoming and another from Chile. Words can not adequately describe the experience, it’s just powerful. The sky goes dark, you can see the glow from the Sun’s corona around the Moon, the stars come out, and the winds pick up. It’s just other worldly,” said Spuck,

While the Observatory is not quite in the path of totality, it’s close. From the site located on the border of Venango and Clarion counties, observers will see 99.6% of the Sun covered by the Moon during the April 8 event. “Just 0.4% of the Sun will be peeking out from behind the Moon. We are all keeping our fingers crossed for clear weather,” said Spuck.

ORAS will open its facilities to the public on Sunday April 7 and Monday April 8. While there is no fee to participate in the event, donations are much appreciated. The group requests those planning to attend pre-register as soon as possible at so ORAS can better prepare. There is limited capacity at the Observatory site and a limited number of eclipse glasses available for the public.

The 2024 Eclipse Program will include the following activities:

Sunday, April 7

4:00 PM – the Observatory Site Opens

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Telescopes set up to safely observe the Sun (weather permitting)

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Education Program: The presentation will focus on answering the following questions:

  • What can you expect to see?
  • How can you safely observe the eclipse? (ORAS has secured solar eclipse glasses which will be handed out at the event. Again, there is no charge for the glasses, but donations are appreciated.)
  • How can you safely photograph the Eclipse?
  • Where can you go to be in the path of totality? Traveling about one hour northwest of the Observatory will place you in the path of totality. Various locations will be provided.

8:00 PM – Night Sky Observing with Telescopes (weather permitting).

NOTE: Those who want to stay on site overnight, may do so. Overnight fee applies.

Monday, April 8

12:00 PM – ORAS Facilities Open to the Public

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Live streaming of the Eclipse events being held in other locations and telescopes will be set up to safely observe the Sun (weather permitting)

2:02 PM – Eclipse Begins

3:18:27 PM – 99.6% of Sun is covered by the Moon (Eclipse Maximum from Observatory)

4:31 PM – Eclipse Ends

5:00 PM – Event Ends

NOTE: Those who want to stay on site overnight, may do so. Overnight fee applies.

Weather could be an issue. “Based on historical weather data, the likelihood of cloud cover in Northwestern Pennsylvania in early April is around 60%, so we are all keeping our fingers crossed. The important thing is to plan and be prepared for this spectacular display of nature,” said Spuck.

For more information and to register for the April 7-8, 2024 Eclipse Event, please visit ORAS at

Submit a Comment