Picture taken by Eugene Ruocchio of the Solar Eclipse.
Picture taken by Eugene Ruocchio of the Solar Eclipse.

The 2024 Solar Eclipse

On Monday, April 4, 2024, the state of Pennsylvania was directly aligned for a total solar eclipse. The last time Pennsylvania was in direct line with a total eclipse was 1806. 

PA.Gov said, “Within the path of totality, the total eclipse phase will last from approximately 3:15 P.M. to 3:20 P.M. as the moon completely covers the sun’s surface. The eclipse will conclude around 4:30 P.M.” 

Many students will participate in different ways such as going to Medlar Field for festivities, having friends and family come over, working, sports practice, sleeping, etc. However, when looking at the eclipse, people must wear specific glasses. Schools all around the country distributed different branded glasses, all of which protect the eyes to observe the eclipse. 

State High had an early dismissal from school at 1:40 P.M. Before the dismissal, State High students and faculty distributed these glasses made by the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium with NASA to all students on the day of the Solar Eclipse. Most students took glasses to give to friends and family to see the Solar Eclipse together. 

Sophomore Evan Doherty gave details as to what he did for the Solar Eclipse. “I went to Medlar Field and watched the Solar Eclipse with my family, but I was super sad because I couldn’t see it behind all the clouds,” Doherty said.

When the solar eclipse hit State College, the sky got darker, and as individuals prepared to see the Solar Eclipse, huge clouds blocked their views. As some time went on, people were able to see glimpses of the Solar Eclipse, but it was only for a short duration of time.

Sophomore Derek Peltzer shared his emotions. “I went downtown and saw friends, but I could not see the solar eclipse because it was too cloudy…I was sad. I was like punching the wall.”

The Solar Eclipse hitting State College with 96% totality is an extremely rare occurrence. It is understandable for individuals to experience emotions if something were to alter their view of the Solar Eclipse.

Eugene Ruocchio, an earth science teacher at State High was able to observe and take pictures of the Solar Eclipse. Ruocchio shares his perspective on his observations. “I went to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, but it was cloudy so then I drove six hours to Plattsburgh New York […] The ellipse was unbelievable […] It was the most unbelievable sight I have ever seen.”

Unlike others, Ruocchio was able to see the eclipse in full totality. Ruocchio devoted his day to this eclipse. From leaving State College to driving all around New York just to observe and take pictures of this incredible moment.

Sophomore Lily Friberg did not attend any eclipse viewing events but instead had other things to do and participate in.“Going home, sleeping a little bit, then going to track practice after, Friberg said.

Sports activities at State High were canceled on the day of the Solar Eclipse until after 5:30. 

The next Solar Eclipse visible in the US will be August 23, 2044. Shortly after the next occurrence, there will be another eclipse sighting in the year 2045. As this is still a long time to come, some individuals are counting down until the next time they can view this rare moment in time.

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