Total Solar Eclipse Graces the Sky

Graphic by Anya Jordan/SF Foghorn

Out of all the weeks to say “I hate Mondays,” this is not the one! On Monday, Apr. 8, a total solar eclipse graced North America’s sky, the first since 2017. People across the continent took to the streets with protective glasses in hand to catch a glimpse of the shining phenomenon. 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stated, “A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk.” 

Andrew Franknoi, a professor of astronomy at the Fromm Institute here at USF, said to ABC7 last week, “We call eclipses the Super Bowl of sky spectacles. And I think it justly deserves that name, at least a total eclipse does.”

The last total solar eclipse happened in 2017, with the path of totality spanning across North America from Oregon to South Carolina, making it the “first eclipse in 99 years visible across the country,” according to CBS News. 

This year, 15 U.S. states got a full view of the eclipse, as they fell within the 100-mile wide “path of totality” spanning from Mexico’s Pacific coast, across Texas to Maine, and into Canada as well. 

The view from Lone Mountain was not as spectacular as many had hoped. Here in San Francisco, we got a “partial view,” since the moon only covered 45% of the sun’s surface, according to NASA. The eclipse started at 10:14 a.m. and peaked at 11:13 a.m., when the crescent- shaped sun was most visible. 

The Foghorn asked a few students their thoughts about the eclipse. 

Julianna Sangalang, sophomore design major 

“I didn’t take out time of my day to see a partial eclipse…. I can see it on TikTok instead. I used to look at the sun all the time as a kid and I think that’s why I have such bad eyesight now.” 

Alyssa Flores, sophomore fine arts major 

“I read somewhere that this eclipse is supposed to trigger a positive transformation, so I’m hoping that means I’ll pass my finals this semester.”

Gabriela Marcucci, sophomore museum studies major 

“I heard you have to wear red during an eclipse to call in good health, so I called my dad back home and told him to put something red on our dog.” 

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