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The Total Eclipse

The Total Eclipse

     There is a total eclipse  happening on April 8th. A total eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun, only the corona (the outermost part of the sun) is visible. The sky gets dark as if it were dawn or dusk.  This eclipse will pass over portions of Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The last total eclipse occurred in 2017 and the next one is predicted to happen on August 8th, 2044.

     Conveniently, Northeast Ohio is directly in the path of the eclipse. The farther a place is from the path of totality, the more partial the eclipse becomes. According to The Canton Repository, it is believed that many people are planning on traveling to Ohio with 139,000 to 556,000 tourists possibly traveling for this event. Other states that are in the path are Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and East Coast states such as Maine and New Hampshire. 

     Some cities are having viewing events that are open to the public such as the Great Lakes Science Center. They are holding a free “Solar Eclipse Fest” along with their partners, NASA’s Glenn Research Center and The Cleveland Orchestra for a three-day celebration at North Coast Harbor in downtown Cleveland. The event will feature free concerts, speakers, and hands-on science activities. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the University Circle community are hosting a watch party at Wade Oval on the day of the eclipse. It is a free event and there will be live music and hands-on activities. 

     Many schools in our area such as Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, Austintown, Poland, Struthers, and Boardman adjusted their hours for school on April 8th.  MCCTC chose to give students an online day due to safety concerns. They believe that the traffic would be dangerous for their students to drive in, especially being located in an area with a larger population.  

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     Boardman High School has formed a Solar Eclipse Committee. The students meet twice a week to discuss eclipse-themed activities. They have also been releasing videos called “Sun Spots” that feature information about the eclipse.

     Poland Schools will be closed so that students can safely watch the event. The Lions Club donated around 2,000 solar eclipse packages to students, which included eclipse glasses, crosswords, and treats. Staring directly at the eclipse is very dangerous, so wearing specialized eye protection is necessary. If you are planning on viewing it, it is important to wear the proper eye protection. 

     The increase in tourism may cause issues for schools in larger areas such as Akron and Cleveland. There may be traffic increases, especially since the eclipse is predicted to occur during the end of the school day; around 3 pm. Student dismissal times are also around the same time as the eclipse. 

     Lowellville will be dismissing school an hour early to ensure the safety of students, as well as allow them to watch the eclipse with their families. Many students have expressed that they would love to watch the eclipse. 

     Junior Aryana Romano has expressed her excitement about the upcoming eclipse. “I watched the last one, so I’m excited to see how different it will be.” . 

     ELA teacher Mrs. Mercure plans on watching the eclipse. “Space has always fascinated me, and this year’s eclipse is a significant astronomical event. It just reminds me of how truly small we are in this vast universe,” says Mercure.  

      Dr. Hale is very excited about the eclipse. “I think the eclipse helps give you a sense of how small we are in the universe. The size of the stars and galaxies are already so large that it is difficult for our minds to even comprehend the scale, but seeing the moon and sun interact to affect daylight in such a profound way is one of the few ways that we can see this in effect directly,” says Hale when asked why people should watch the eclipse. He expresses safety concerns for students who must drive home during the eclipse.

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