A total solar eclipse April 8 will be visible across...

A total solar eclipse April 8 will be visible across a swath of North America. An estimated 44 million people live inside the path of totality stretching from Mazatlan, Mexico to Newfoundland, Canada. Credit: AP

When a near-total solar eclipse passes over Long Island next month, don’t look directly at the sun without the proper eyewear. 

New York State officials and dozens of other providers are offering eye protection to get a closer look April 8 as the eclipse is expected to pass over New York. Starting this week, state officials will be providing free solar eclipse glasses at rest stops, including the Long Island Welcome Center.

Residents can pick up to two pairs of ISO-certified glasses per person at the welcome center off the Long Island Expressway in Dix Hills. The “I Love New York” glasses are provided statewide, including at LIRR ticket windows at the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station and at rest stops on the New York State Thruway.

The eclipse is expected to pass over New York, with the moon completely blocking out the sun from the earth’s view on a 100-mile wide path from the southwestern part of the state starting about 3:15 p.m. and departing northern New York just before 3:30 p.m.

While Long Island is not expected to reach 100% totality of the eclipse, it is still expected to see more than 90% of the sun obstructed. The eclipse is expected to last up to 2½ hours, marking the time the sun is first obstructed to the last moments when the moon’s shadow is cast.

“The total solar eclipse will be a once-in-a-generation experience for our state, and it’s critical that New Yorkers have the tools and information to enjoy it safely,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “From heightening awareness of scams to providing thousands of New Yorkers with eclipse glasses, I’m focused on giving everyone the resources they need to safely experience this extraordinary event.”

Eclipse glasses can also be purchased from dozens of vendors approved by the American Astronomical Society.

State officials warned of potential fraud by some retailers. Consumers are urged to avoid fraud by looking for glasses with an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) stamp sold by reputable retailers.

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