Total Eclipse of the Sun

Sarah Knieff | Staff Writer

Christopher Juhn | Photographer

Aug. 21, 2017 was an exciting time for Century College and for the rest of the country. It marked another school year full of opportunities for the students here, but the day was also absent of a few minutes of sunlight.

The event that took place was called a solar eclipse, which is when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth blocking any sunlight that would normally appear. This all makes for an “out of this world” sky. Everything is dark and silent.

According to NASA, this total eclipse of the sun was the first time the continental United States had a viewing point in over 38 years, making it a grand spectacle for all Americans to see. If one was lucky enough to be in the path of totality starting in Lincoln Beach, Oregon, stretching all the way to Charleston, South Carolina, it would have made for some epic views.

Gearing up, people were able to grab special eclipse glasses that allow one to look directly at the covered sun without damaging their eyes. These glasses were handed out at museums, planetariums, stores, and even libraries across the country for free, showing just how revved up everyone was for this celestial event.

People gathered in all 14 states along the path of totality, throwing parties with food, games, and music. Anyone outside of this West to East path was able to see a partial solar eclipse. Here on campus at Century there was an eclipse viewing party with many students coming together to take in the sights.

Photo Image Courtesy of Jeff Soloman

The next eclipse that Century will be able to see here in the US won’t be for another 7 years. According to NASA, the solar eclipse will be on April 8th, 2024 and, “[t]his time, it will come up from Mexico through Texas, proceeding through Carbondale IL . . . and on to New York, Maine, finally leaving land in Newfoundland.”

Between now and 2024 there are many eclipses that are able to be seen around the world, just not here. Those who can’t wait will need a passport and a plane ticket to catch a glimpse at another eclipse.

Eclipses are a rare occasion giving humankind a breathtaking view of outer space that inspires “ohh” and “ahhs” from the youngest of babes to the oldest elder. If one missed 2017’s eclipse, gear up for the next one. It is a sight that even Buzz Lightyear would approve of.

Century students are pretty lucky because they don’t have to wait until 2024 or grab a passport to shoot for the moon. By being a college student and achieving those lifelong goals, they have already landed within the stars.