We viewed the solar eclipse from the Lafayette Quad!


We had an amazing time out on the quad on April 8th! Hundreds of students, faculty, and staff came out to view the partial eclipse. Clouds moved in as we neared maximum coverage, but everyone cheers when we got a few 10-20 second glimpses of the crescent sun. The event was featured on the College’s Instagram page.

Physics department

Four student volunteers and one staff member operated a pair of safely filtered telescopes, including one of our antique brass refractors successfully transformed into a Sun Funnel!

Two male college students view a sun funnel. One student has a long blond ponytail and blue shirt; he watches as a dark-haired student in a light shirt looks up at the telescope. The telescope in the background is a long brass refractor with a black plastic funnel attached to the bottom end. At the top/front end, a black board shields the viewer's eye from the sun.

Physics majors Aidan Wensel ’25 and Lucas Lindenmuth ’25 view an image of the eclipse on a sun funnel. Photo by Adam Atkinson/Lafayette College Communications.

Astronomy Club

The Lafayette Astronomy Club brought six volunteers to operate three telescopes: two with safe solar filters on the front that the club built themselves, and one H-alpha telescope.

A male college student in a red shirt and baseball cap stands next to a blue Newtonian telescope on a white and silver tripod mount. The telescope has masking tape around the front, holding a solar filter on (the filter itself is not visible from this angle)

Dan Hoover ’25, President of the Lafayette Astronomy Club, shows off a safely filtered Celestron telescope. Photo by Jenna Tempkin ’24.


PHYS 108 Class

The PHYS 108: Astronomy class showed the eclipse through SunSpotters, and used globes to demonstrate why the path of totality is so narrow.

Three college students behind a table gaze upwards wearing eclipse glasses. There is a globe on the table.

Grahame Ung ’24, Image Patterson ’25, and Ian Brown ’24 use eclipse glasses to safely observe the beginning of the eclipse. Image by Stephanie T. Douglas.

Original pre-event content

On April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse will sweep across North America from Mazatlán, Mexico to Prince Edward Island in Canada. Those lucky enough to be in the path of totality will see the Sun completely obscured by the Moon. Easton is not within that path, but we will see a spectacular partial eclipse with >91% of the Sun covered. As viewed from Easton, the eclipse will begin around 2:10 pm, reach maximum coverage around 3:22 pm, and end around 4:35 pm.

Mostly black square with a thin crescent of orange on the left side.

(Predicted maximum eclipse coverage in Easton from NASA’s Eclipse Explorer)


Never look directly at the Sun, even during the partial eclipse. Less than 1% of the Sun’s total light can damage your eyes – and Easton will always see at least 8% of the Sun’s surface. Do not look through cameras, binoculars, telescopes, or other lenses without proper filters in place. 

Protect your eyes with eclipse glasses that are compliant with ISO standard 12312-2:2015 for safely viewing the Sun. Eclipse glasses are only for looking at the Sun with your eyes. Do not use eclipse glasses with cameras, binoculars, telescopes, or other lenses. 

The Provost’s Office has provided funding for 3000 pairs of eclipse glasses. Glasses will be distributed from 10am-2pm in the Farinon atrium on Friday, April 5 and Monday, April 8. Glasses will be limited to 1 pair per Lafayette ID. 

Other safe ways to observe the eclipse include pinhole projection and safely filtered telescopes: find out more about safe eclipse viewing from NASA. Especially for the type of partial eclipse visible from Easton, these other viewing methods can provide even more exciting Solar images than eclipse glasses.

Campus event

Members of the PHYS 108 Astronomy class, the Lafayette Astronomy Club, and the Physics Department will share safe viewing methods from 2-4pm on the quad

The Astronomy Club is excited to show off their new H-alpha telescope, which will provide a unique view of the Sun’s active regions. PHYS 108 students will show you the Sun through pinhole projectors and SunSpotters, and can tell you about why eclipses happen. Finally, the Physics Department will give new life to one of our antique refractors as a sun funnel!

Students, faculty, and staff (including contracted staff) are all welcome to join us on the quad for the eclipse. Family members are also welcome. Note that we will not have extra eclipse glasses for guests, but we will have plenty of safe ways to view the eclipse even without glasses.


The partial solar eclipse will still be visible through thin and/or patchy clouds. As long as there is no threat of rain, we will plan to be out on the quad under partly cloudy skies. 

If there is thick cloud cover and/or significant threat of rain, the calendar event will be updated with an alternate location or cancellation notice. We will provide these updates as early as possible. Please use your own best judgment about weather safety.


Thank you to the Provost’s Office for funding the purchase of eclipse glasses for campus, and to the Student Involvement Office for helping distribute the glasses.


Information on this page does not constitute medical advice; individuals should consult their physician or ophthalmologist with any health concerns.