Solar Eclipse

The Great American Eclipse

Kettle Run Cougars share their thoughts and opinions on the solar eclipse on April 8th, 2024.

A solar eclipse happened on April 8th in Virginia, though it was partial, so it didn’t fully obscure the sun. Many were excited as 2017 was the last eclipse the area had witnessed. The solar eclipse started at 2:03 PM in Nokesville and ended at 4:32 PM, lasting nearly two and a half hours.

People had differing opinions on the eclipse. Most people watched it, although some were unable due to their schedules. Some felt that the eclipse was underwhelming or overrated, while others appreciated its beautiful hue. Many experienced it in different places: in school, at home, and even while driving. Some drove to the path of totality to see the sun fully obscured and to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event. Most plan to eventually watch the eclipse when it appears in the continental United States again in 2044.


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Many felt the solar eclipse was an educational experience that they learned from. The eclipse happens when the moon moves in front of the sun. It appears at first glance that this should happen rather frequently, but there are a few important factors to consider. The small changes in orbit can cause a massive difference when you are millions of miles away, not to mention that all three celestial bodies involved in the eclipse must be aligned perfectly. This culminates in the eclipse being relatively uncommon, and even more rare when you consider that the eclipse only covers a certain area in the world.

Though the next solar eclipse in the continental US won’t be until 2044, there is a lunar eclipse to look forward to. A partial lunar eclipse will be occurring later this year on September 18th. This occurs when Earth partially obscures the moon, resulting in a shadow being cast onto it. This shadow is a shade of red and is where the term “blood moon” originates. 

The eclipse was also an important day for NASA as well. They launched rockets into space at separate intervals of the eclipse to gather information on how the eclipse affects the Earth’s upper atmosphere. They were launched at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia where the public could watch the launch in person. The rockets were previously launched in 2023 and this year’s launch was successful.

Solar eclipses are rare and extraordinary events that provide us with the incredible opportunity to witness the magical bond between the sun and the moon. Even a partial eclipse can be captivating and awe-inspiring, as one person said. Undoubtedly, experiences like these can be cherished by people who will hold onto the memories until the next one, which is due in 2044.

In conclusion, the solar eclipse is an interesting natural phenomenon in astronomy that many have few chances to view in their lifetime. With many even driving to the path of totality and preparing to view the eclipse, it is an event that many become invested in viewing.


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