Rare upcoming total solar eclipse garners attention

By Anna Harman

On April 8th, a rare total solar eclipse is expected to occur in Ohio. Solar eclipses occur several times a year, but a total solar eclipse only occurs about every one hundred years which is why this event excites many people  

According to Dean and Senior Professor of Physics, Dr. Steve Gollmer, a solar eclipse occurs when the orbit of the moon around the earth is inclined by 5 degrees from the orbit of the earth around the sun. If the orbits were in the same plane, we could have an eclipse consistently every month, however the earth and moon are inclined relative to each other, so eclipses only occur two times a year. During this time, the moon can move directly in front of the sun, blocking its light. This is what we call a solar eclipse. 

For the total solar eclipse taking place this year, only a narrow path across the surface of the earth will have the sun completely blocked by the sun. People in areas further from this path will only see a partial eclipse of the sun. 

“Six months ago there was an eclipse path that traveled from Seattle to Dallas,” Gollmer said. “Nobody made a big deal about it around here because we could only see a partial eclipse. Those in the path of that eclipse saw the outer edges of the sun during the eclipse because the moon was farther from the earth in its orbit.” 

This type of eclipse is called an annular eclipse. What separates the annular eclipse from the total eclipse is that the Moon blocks all but an outer ring of the Sun, while the total eclipse totally covers the Sun. 

On April 8th, the moon will be closest to the earth in its orbit. This will result in the moon blocking the light from the sun. That is what causes a total solar eclipse. 

“During a total eclipse the sky will darken to a twilight and you will see some stars show up in the sky,” Gollmer said.

Many events will be held in the area to celebrate the total solar eclipse. Several businesses and venues are planning so people can spend this rare occasion in a memorable way. 

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will be hosting a day-long experience at SunWatch Indian Village for $500 a person. Participants will enjoy a buffet, tour the museum, and watch eclipse presentations. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on April 8th. 

The Air Force Museum in Dayton will be hosting a free  event on April 8th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will have  opportunities to make a Moon Phase Calendar and Calculator, model a Solar Eclipse, make a Pinhole Camera, among other activities. There will be various rocket launches throughout the day, food trucks, and a hot air balloon glow from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Attendees should bring their own seating. 

The Schuster Center in Dayton will be hosting a concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 5th and 6th called Total Eclipse: The Sun And The Planets and is performed by the Dayton Philharmonic. Tickets are as low as $5. 

Unity of Dayton in Huber Heights will be hosting an event on April 8th from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Attendees will view the total solar eclipse on seven acres of land. The cost is $20 per car. meditation activities, nature paths to explore, and a playground for children to enjoy wil be offered

To find more events in the Dayton area, visit https://www.daytondailynews.com/local/total-solar-eclipse-2024-a-massive-guide-to-events-in-the-miami-valley/Z67MM4W42JC5RAYUKMD4CNY3XA/#.

To follow the path of the total solar eclipse, visit https://eclipse2024.org/eclipse_cities/statemap.html

Anna Cullins is a senior Christian Education major and also a reporter for Cedars. She appreciates writing, children’s ministry, flowers, and going to concerts.

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