BY NOAH CASTAGNA
On the first day of school CCHS students got a fleeting taste of a cosmic anomaly that hasn’t graced the country for over a century: a total, coast-to-coast solar eclipse.
For those on the path of totality, the sun was totally covered by the moon for as little as a few seconds to a few minutes. The last solar eclipse that brought midday darkness to the U.S. was in 1979, and touched only the lower 48 of the states. Falling exclusively on the United States for the first time in history, this particular incidence earned the name “The Great American Eclipse.”
Starting off in Salem, Oregon at around 1:15 p.m., students in 12 states could catch a view of the eclipse, either total or partial. As the excitement commenced, the halls filled with announcements from administrators reminding the Cowboys to exercise caution when admiring the celestial occurrence; outdoor activities were even moved indoors until 4:00 that afternoon. Yet with the ringing of the dismissal bell, the courtyard swarmed with staff and students gazing up at the sky in awe.
Officials advised those planning to watch the eclipse to do so with the proper precautions taken- those looking to the sky should have their NASA-approved eclipse glasses on and shouldn’t linger for too long. Those without glasses were advised to keep their eyes off the sun or to use homemade devices such as cereal box cut-outs circulating the Internet that would help them to avoid direct contact between the sun and their retinas.
“When I heard there was a solar eclipse, I lost my mind,” senior Madison Worley said. “I knew I needed eclipse glasses, and I was so excited.”
Those who were unable to attain glasses could catch the entire phenomenon on television along with the viewing parties that accompanied it. The spectacle caught the attention of more than just students and teachers, as experts, onlookers and even the President looked to the sky to catch a glimpse.
For those who missed it, the next total solar eclipse viewable in America is set to come in 2024.