NJ Not In The Dark Historically For Aug. 21 Eclipse

The lunar shadow first enters at 9:05 a.m. PDT. Totality begins in Lincoln City, OR, at 10:15 a.m. PDT. Totality ends at 2:48 p.m. in Charleston,SC. The lunar shadow leaves the East Coast at 4:09 p.m. Credits: NASA/SVS
Paul Cirillo ©2017 TAPinto Montville Credits: Melissa Benno
Paul Cirillo Credits: Melissa Benno
This illustration depicts the alignment of the sun, the moon and Earth – which only perfectly occurs about once every 18 months, on average. The umbra and penumbra are shown. Credits: NASA

MONTVILLE, NJ – The United States will be experiencing a solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, which New Jerseyans can view partially– if the weather cooperates.

If you lived in one of the 14 states the eclipse is crossing with its 70-mile wide path, you will be all set.

If you use safety glasses to view the event between 1:23 p.m. and 4 p.m., with best vieiwng at 2:44 p.m., you will see a partial eclipse. The sun will look like a crescent moon. In Illinois, which will experience the eclipse for the longest period of time, the eclipse will last less than three minutes.

Sign Up for E-News

Astronomy lecturer Paul Cirillo was on hand at the Montville Township Public library on Aug. 2 to give residents a taste of the Great American Solar Eclipse, as it’s being called.

“The first half of my talk is to convince you to go see this,” he said with a laugh.

He said this eclipse is only over the U.S.,  happened ssmething that has not happended since 1778.

“They happen all over the earth, though,” he said. The 1925 eclipse cut across northern Manhattan, he said.

The sun, moon and earth line up perfectly to make an eclipse about every 18 months, but the shadow is often in uninhabited portions of the planet, he said.

When it comes to solar eclipses, New Jersey is not totally “in the dark” historically.

New Jersey’s own Menlo Park inventor Thomas Edison traveled to Wyoming with a group of other scientists to view the 1878 eclipse. The 31-year-old had just invented the phonograph. He wanted to test his newest invention: the tasimeter, Cirillo said.

The tasimeter measures small changes in temperature. Unfortunately, Edison was trying to measure the temperature of the corona of the sun and it gave off so much heat that it was off the scale of the invention. Before Edison could readjust the scale, the eclipse was over.

Some say that during the fishing trip that followed the eclipse, a bamboo fishing rod was thrown onto a campfire, and when Edison saw the way it burned in individual strands, it “sparked” an interest in him to use bamboo in light bulb filaments, but others contest this story as myth.

Princeton professor Albert Einstein also has ties to solar eclipses because they confirm his Theory of General Relativity, which states that all masses cause a curvature of space-time.

During the 1919 eclipse, scientists measured the positions of stars, then compared them with their normal positions in the sky and proved Einstein’s theory. After the New York Times published the findings, Einstein became a household name.

Cirillo advised those travelling to see the eclipse to plan ahead, and take plenty of water and food.

“Watch out for traffic jams, because you’ll have to move if the weather is going to be bad where you were planning to watch,” he said. Humidity in the air and rain will affect watching conditions. Further, about 200 million people live within one hour’s drive of the path of the eclipse, according to NASA’s eclipse website.

“But in New Jersey, the sky will not turn dark,” he said.

No matter what, he advised residents to wear special viewing glasses to see the eclipse.

“They’re inexpensive and readily available,” he said. “You need to supervise children in their use.”

Sad if you’re not able to travel to see this one? You can either travel to Argentina for the next one in the summer of 2019, or you can stay in the U.S. for the 2024 eclipse. But your closest vantage point will be Syracuse, NY or the Adirondacks.

To see a live-stream of the eclipse, on Aug. 21 go to: Eclipse. For more information about the safety glasses, go to Glasses. Goggles must state that they comply with the ISO 12312-2 standard.

The books “Edison and His Inventions: Including the Many Incidents, Anecdotes and Interesting Particulars,” edited by James Baird McClure and “Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon that Changed the Course of History” by Duncan Steel, and these articles: Space and Eclipses were also used to research this article.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police Arrest Newton Man on DWI, Hit and Run with Baby on Board

March 16, 2018

SPARTA, NJ –  A Newton man driving drunk with is infant child in the back seat is facing charges after a hit and run accident on Route 15.  On March 10, around 7:05 p.m. Sparta Cpl. Smith went to Limecrest Road to investigate the accident, police report.

The officer was met by the driver of one of the vehicles involved.  That driver said he was on Route 15 South when a VW ...

Sparta Police: Wantage DWI Driver Takes Down Pole

SPARTA, NJ – A Wantage man took down a utility pole with his car in a drunk driving accident on White Lake Road.  Sparta Sgt. Joe Pensado reported the accident.  Sparta Cpl. Dan Elig arrived to take over the investigation of the one car accident on March 1 around 11 p.m. police report.

Elig asked the driver Richard Luciano, 35, what happened.  Luciano told the officer he ...

Sparta Police: Newton Woman Snoozing in Parking Lot Faces Drug Charges

SPARTA, NJ – A Newton woman is facing heroin charges after getting the attention of Sparta police in the Quick Chek parking lot, police report.

On March 6, around 10:55 p.m. Sydney McNamara, 21, and male passenger were sleeping in her Kia with the engine running.  Sparta Cpl. Scott Elig and Police Officer Ben Griffin checked on the duo.  Griffin knocked on the window to wake up ...

5 Tips for elected officials

March 9, 2018

Dear Editor,

Wayne Levante, a self-described moderate, business-friendly mayor of Newton since his appointment 8 months ago, has been mired by one misstep and controversy after another.  From peddling debunked conspiracy theories about student “crisis actors” in the Parkland, Florida mass school shooting on social media, attacking residents and calling them ...


March 11, 2018



Republican Freeholder Candidates, Dawn Fantasia and Josh Hertzberg commended the District 24 Legislators for taking action in the wake of the horrific school shooting that took the lives of 17 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.   


Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space and ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 17, 12:00 PM


Resume Boot Camp

Business & Finance


Tue, March 20, 6:30 PM

Sparta United Methodist Church, Sparta

Girl Scout STEAM Program

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sat, March 24, 9:30 AM

Sparta Recreation Department, Sparta

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

McKenna Hall, Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Sparta

Night with NJ Giants #53 Harry Carson Beefsteak


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

Perona Farms, Sparta

Trout Unlimited Annual Fund Raising Banquet

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, April 8, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River



Sat, April 14, 9:00 AM


Jr Lions Football - Meet & Greet

Education Sports

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Byram Intermediate School Receives High Honors

March 7, 2018

BYRAM, NJ - The Byram Intermediate School has been recognized as a School to Watch.  The school is one of eight middle schools in New Jersey to receive the designation.

"We are so proud of this group of educators who have created one of the most dynamic schools in the state of New Jersey," Principal John Fritzky said.  

New Jersey Schools to Watch are ...

Westfield Volunteer Baseball Coach Desperately Seeking Kidney Donor

March 3, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ —  Westfield High School volunteer baseball coach Mike Cappiello is in desperate need of a kidney donor.

The 28-year-old former WHS baseball player hit 46 doubles playing college ball for Plymouth State University in New Hampshire — the most in the school's history.

One day in April of 2012, during his senior year, he was off to another good start to ...

6 Easy Ways to Increase Zzzz’s During National Sleep Awareness Month and Beyond!

Team Nest Builder knows sleep deprivation leads to a myriad of problems, so we’re here to help you make your New Jersey home bedrooms the havens you deserve! Take a look at these simple ideas for increasing your zzzzz’s:

Soften Up

Employ a large area rug that covers the entire room to help absorb sound and enhance comfort.

Feeling Blue

According to a study by Travelodge, ...

4 Top Reasons NOW Is A Great Time To Buy A New Jersey Home

Team Nest Builder offers four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting:

Prices Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices appreciated by 6.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.3% over the next year.  The bottom in home prices came and left. Home values will ...

Does YOUR School District Rank For 2018 Best Teachers? compiled a 2018 list of the top 100 New Jersey school districts who possess the best teachers, based on student and parent ratings of teachers, teacher tenure, teacher salaries, student-teacher ratio, teacher absenteeism, and the Niche Academics Grade for the district.  Team Nest Builder understands the importance of owning a home in an area with a strong school district, so ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Enrollment Extended for New Jersey Youth Corps at Project Self-Sufficiency

March 16, 2018

Enrollment for the current session of the New Jersey Youth Corps program at Project Self-Sufficiency is has been extended.  The sixteen-week program gives those who have not completed high school the opportunity to boost their literacy skills, prepare for the high school equivalency exam, obtain on-the-job work experience, and transition into a career, college or the military.  Project ...