What to expect on April 8 from eclipse chaser, ‘umbraphile,’ and others

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As we approach the total solar eclipse, News 4 talked to three people who have already witnessed them in years past. Western New York natives, Matt Veronica and Tim Broadbent witnessed the 2017 eclipse in other states. David Baron is an eclipse chaser, also known as an ‘umbraphile,’ who has seen eight total solar eclipses in his lifetime.

All three explain what to expect on April 8.

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“I would say, bring along people you really care about,” Baron said. “You come to understand just how tiny we are in this vast universe and that has a tendency to really bring people together.”

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“When you leave, it’s like when you’re at Darien Lake and the band plays their encore and everyone is like, ‘OK, we gotta go,'” Veronica said.

“At the end of it, everyone wants to get in their cars and go home at the same time,” said Baron.

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What happens to your surroundings?

“Streetlights got triggered from it,” Veronica said. “Animals stopped… birds that were chirping became silent.”

“When it took place, everybody got really quiet,” Broadbent said. “And with the number of people there, it was pretty fascinating to have that many thousands of people to have it as quiet as a pin could drop, it was wild.”

“I have to estimate the temperature dropped about 15 degrees because it went from actively sweating, to ‘Oh, this is a pleasant day,'” Veronica said.

“And then there was definitely noise: clapping and crying, and those sort of things, as it moved out of the eclipse,” Broadbent said.

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How did you feel?

“I had a ton of fun ‘geeking out’ the science of it beforehand,” Broadbent said. “I think if you dig into it before you watch it.. the more exciting it is when you actually see it happening.”

“A total solar eclipse — in my mind — is the closest thing to space travel that you can experience, without leaving the surface of the earth,” Baron said. “It’s like all of a sudden, you’re transported to another planet.”

“You kind of have that feeling of, ‘Wow, we’re so small and dwarfed,’ and it puts a lot of things into perspective,” said Veronica.

“I don’t know anyone who isn’t awed by a total eclipse,” Baron said. “Not everyone is going to be an eclipse chaser, but I don’t know anyone who finds it disappointing.”

All three of them said, if you’re just outside the Path of Totality, make sure to drive to an area where it will go completely dark. A partial eclipse doesn’t compare to a total solar eclipse.

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Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor who came back home to Buffalo in 2018. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.

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