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The Carroll News

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Once in a lifetime total solar eclipse seen across northeast Ohio on April 8

Amelia Marlow
The skies over John Carroll University produce a lot of gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. During the afternoon of Apr. 8, the activity happening in the sky will be a once in a lifetime sight to see.

As many people say, college is the best four years of a person’s life; it’s a time of discovering oneself and getting a glimpse of the “real world.” When the term “college experience” is mentioned, it usually consists of living in a dorm, attending classes, hanging out with friends, vacationing over spring break and throwing parties. For current undergraduate students at universities across northeast Ohio, the upcoming solar eclipse will become a highlight of their college careers.

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will pass over the United States, Mexico and Canada, the first in the U.S. since 2017. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, completely blocking the face of the sun and resulting in a darkened sky.

All 48 states in the contiguous U.S. will get to see the partial solar eclipse. According to NASA, states in the path of totality include Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont. Small parts of Michigan and Tennessee will also be exposed to temporary dark skies.

The eclipse in Ohio will begin just before 2 p.m. and conclude at around 4:30 p.m. Totality will occur between 3:08 p.m. and 3:19 p.m.

People within a 124-mile band in northeast Ohio get to view the total solar eclipse. The Ohio Emergency Management Agency states that this will be the first one visible in Ohio since 1806. After April 8, Ohio won’t see another one until 2099, making this a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of its citizens and visiting tourists.

During the full eclipse, the temperature cooled noticeably, the birds stopped chirping because they thought it was nighttime and the colors of everything seemed to change.

— Professor Thomas Blanton

Professor Thomas Blanton, who teaches in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, is planning on sitting on the quad to view as much of the solar eclipse as possible. He shared the following with The Carroll News:

“One of my brothers saw the 2017 eclipse from the top of the Grand Teton and he said – and I quote – that it was ‘a spiritual experience.’” Blanton continued by saying that “During the full eclipse, the temperature cooled noticeably, the birds stopped chirping because they thought it was nighttime and the colors of everything seemed to change.”

Since not all classes at John Carroll University are going to be canceled on the afternoon of April 8, some professors are concerned about attendance since many students plan on watching the total solar eclipse.

“I expect attendance will be low to non-existent during the eclipse,” Dr. John Yost told The Carroll News. Yost plans on leaving campus early to view the solar eclipse with this family, his oldest child visiting from New York City. “In my opinion, [all] classes should have been canceled starting at two. It is a relatively unique event and I believe it would be counterproductive to attempt to hold class once the eclipse begins because students will be distracted.”

“I have one class on April 8 and I canceled it, but the students have to write a story about the eclipse,” Dr. Mary Beadle said. “I have talked to other faculty and many are doing the same.” Beadle hopes everyone takes advantage of this unique opportunity.

Officials in Ohio are planning for up to 575,000 visitors, as stated by The Columbus Dispatch. There are predictions that there will be mixed patterns a few hours before the eclipse begins. Experts suggest driving to northeast Ohio at least several hours prior to the start of the eclipse since traffic is expected to worsen as the day goes by. Projections suggest that major highways won’t be able to handle major traffic jams and will essentially turn into parking lots.

In order to view the total solar eclipse, a pair of eclipse glasses is a necessity, otherwise there is a risk for temporary or even permanent blindness. According to Forbes, these are a thousand times darker than regular sunglasses and provide high protection against the sun’s rays. NASA states that looking directly at the sun can cause immediate damage to the eyes. It’s also not recommended to see the eclipse through a camera because the rays from it can destroy the lens’ filter.

“Our family has glasses that meet standards, but I don’t plan on staring at the sun even while wearing them,” Yost told The Carroll News. “I plan to wear them while glancing at the sun.”

John Carroll University purchased special JCU-branded eclipse glasses that will be offered for free to the members of the JCU community. They will be distributed on the Hamlin Quad starting at 2 p.m. on April 8.

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About the Contributor
Amelia Marlow
Amelia Marlow, Campus Culture Beat Reporter
Amelia Marlow is a beat reporter for the Campus and World sections of The Carroll News. She is from Madison, OH and a Junior at John Carroll University majoring in Communications (concentrating in Integrated Marketing) and double minoring in Leadership Development and Psychology. Amelia has been a member of The Carroll News staff since the start of her third year of college. In addition to writing for The Carroll News, Amelia plays the clarinet in four musical ensembles at John Carroll: Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band and a chamber group that performs at Sunday night mass. She is the President of the Pep Band and a member of the Improv Club. Amelia is also a librarian for JCU’s Department of Liturgical Music and Musical Arts and a Peer Learning Facilitator for the Communications major. Amelia will be a marketing intern for JCU’s Academic Success Center in the spring of 2024. When Amelia isn’t busy at John Carroll, she can be found sleeping, watching funny videos and game shows, coloring, completing jigsaw puzzles and spending time with friends and family. In the future, Amelia hopes to attend graduate school and is interested in pursuing a career somewhere in advertising, public relations or journalism. To contact Amelia, email her at [email protected].

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