Diocesan News

Diocese of Brooklyn Students Look to the Sky for 2024 Solar Eclipse

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — There’s little doubt that in classrooms in Catholic schools around the Diocese of Brooklyn, the historic solar eclipse was still a topic of conversation on Tuesday, April 9.

Like New Yorkers all over the city, local school children donned their special glasses and turned their eyes to the skies for the near-total eclipse Monday afternoon.

That also included students at schools and academies in the Diocese of Brooklyn, who not only got a hall pass to head outside, and in some cases to the rooftops of their school building, to view the celestial phenomenon and learn exactly what they were seeing.

Second graders at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy in East Elmhurst fashioned hats and paper models of the sun and moon for their lesson about the eclipse. Students at Sts. Joachim and Anne School in Queens Village and St. Peter Catholic Academy, Bensonhurst/Bath Beach, did the same.

Starting shortly after 2 p.m. Eastern time Monday, the solar eclipse drew a “path of totality” over parts of North America. Starting in Mexico, it threw portions of the United States and Canada into darkness in the middle of the day. It occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking the view of the sun as it passes.

“Seeing the sun go down in the middle of the day was a big deal for the students,” said Margaret Rogers, principal of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy. “They made their special models and got a lot out of the experience. It’s something, I’m sure, that they’ll remember for a long time, and maybe even tell their children about it.” 

Fifteen states got to see the full eclipse that lasted up to four minutes and 28 seconds in certain spots. It was a not-to-be missed event, as the next time a solar eclipse will appear in the skies over the continental United States will be 2044, but the next time a total solar eclipse can be seen in the New York City area will be 2079.