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The First Visible Solar Eclipse in 99 Years


To start the new 2017-2018 school year, students and faculty (along with most of the United States) witnessed history. At the tennis courts in the afternoon on August 21, Mr. Jeffrey Klein, Instructor in Science, shared specially-made NASA glasses with anyone available to observe the solar eclipse. While solar eclipses occur often, this was the first one visible throughout the United States in 99 years.

The moon orbits around the Earth continuously, just as the Earth orbits around the sun. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves in between the Earth and the sun. The moon blocks the sun, and sunlight is unable to reach Earth. Looking directly at the sun without any protection is always dangerous. Klein said during Convocation that a person’s eyes can be seriously damaged, or even blinded, within five seconds if they observe the sun without protection.

Looking through the solar eclipse glasses made the sky look black, and the sun appeared as a yellow sliver similar to a crescent moon. According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, 79.5% of the sun was blocked from view at Gates Mills, Ohio.

Ohio was one of the 10 states that could see the partial solar eclipse. The total eclipse was seen by 14 states. Klein said during total solar eclipses the sun is completely blocked by the moon. This phenomenon occurs for approximately two minutes and 40 seconds each time.

When solar eclipses occur every 18 months, most take place in different parts of the world. The next solar eclipse visible in the United States will occur in 2024. Klein added that a total solar eclipse will be visible in Cleveland at that time.







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Da-Eun (Kathy) Jung is a senior at Gilmour Academy and lives in Jeonju, North Jeolla, South Korea with her family. This is her third year writing for The Lance and is the Editor-in-Chief. Outside of the classroom, Kathy writes for The Mill, the city of Gates Mills’ monthly magazine. Kathy enjoys writing editorials and feature stories for both The Mill and The Lance. She is involved in the VECTOR Program in the Creativity and Expression branch and volunteers at the Holden Arboretum in her free time. Her favorite class is AP Literature & Composition and wants to study communication in college. Read Kathy’s articles below, and contact her at gilmourlance.org.