Total Solar Eclipse of the Century

100 years later, history is made yet again

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Total Solar Eclipse of the Century

The eclipse above North as it nears the point of totality

The eclipse above North as it nears the point of totality

Ian Obst

The eclipse above North as it nears the point of totality

Ian Obst

Ian Obst

The eclipse above North as it nears the point of totality

Kaniah Moore-Williams, Editor-in-Chief

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On the day of August 21, 2017, everything went dark. Cicadas could be heard, birds began their after dark flight, street lamps automatically turned on, and a shadow cast over the Earth. After 100 years, a solar eclipse had just took place. The build up towards the eclipse was intense in anticipation of the event. People from all over traveled to “totality” spots to witness the full eclipse in areas such as St. Joseph, Columbia, Lathrop, and Independence. All spots where the eclipse lasted over two minutes in totality, stretching about 70 miles in width according to Great American Eclipse.

A solar eclipse is a celestial event where the moon passes between the sun and Earth blocking all or part of the sun up to about three hours. For a solar eclipse to be in “totality” the moon must completely cover the sun, causing complete darkness. The United States has not yet experienced a total solar eclipse since 1918, which covered the entirety of the U.S.

On the contrary, it is quite misunderstood how often a total solar eclipse may occur, and that is roughly every 18 months, the misconception comes from being able to see the eclipse. This is because many are only visible in very limited areas of the Earth, according to space.com.

“I think it’s very cool and a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said senior Aiya Mueller.

The Ferguson-Florissant district required all students under 18 to obtain permission by parent/guardian to view the eclipse, and if the parent did not consent, students were held in the theatre, and viewed the eclipse live. Outside students and faculty yelled and cheered at the sight. Many appeared amazed at the sight and dared to view the eclipse without the glasses and to see the moon cover the sun with their bare eyes. Risking the possible permanent damage to the pupil which will affect vision for the rest of one’s life.

“I think it’s very cool and that I won’t look directly at the sun no more,” said sophomore Amanda Kolby. For the given occasion, the necessary precaution to protect yourself from the sun was the usage of the solar eclipse glasses. Each and every student received glasses as well as teachers to ensure protection for everyone. To safely put the glasses on you are instructed to face away from the sun and put them on, and to take them off you are also instructed to completely face away from the sun and take them off.

“I think the moon covering the sun is really interesting, it’s really cool to look at and everyone is enjoying their time out here, said senior Tommy Woods. Overall, the experience was deemed a success by faculty and students.