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Looking back at the August, 2017 partial eclipse as we prepare for the April, 2024 total eclipse

The 2017 partial eclipse shown through a telescopeIn a little over two months, more precisely on April 8, 2024, observers in Northeastern Ohio will have the chance to witness a total solar eclipse with a totality that will last in the Cleveland area for almost four minutes. While total eclipses are truly rare, occurring on average only every 375 years at any given place on Earth, the excitement for this event has been building for a while in our area. In the last years the Cleveland area has been visited by two partial eclipses, one on August 21, 2017, and the other this past October 14, 2023. The later was sadly not visible due to the weather. Below are some memories on some of the events in which the CSU Physics Department has participated in on August 21, 2017.

Edgewater Park, Cleveland: 

The Cleveland’s primary observation site for the August 21, 2017 partial eclipse was the Edgewater Park where our faculty and staff joined the activities organized by the Cleveland Astronomical Society.

Alexander borisov, andrew resnick, and mirolav bogdanovski settng up the solar telescope for public observations

Emerson Elementary, Lakewood (K-5)

Department staff (Tara Peppard) and student members of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) (Justin Flaherty and  Kristen Schuler-Barret ) worked closely with the principal, teachers and PTO parents to bring the excitement of the partial eclipse to the K-5 students, at Emerson Elementary School in Lakewood, during their very first day back to school after the summer break. The activities used included:

  1. Introduction of the orbital model (discussed motion of Earth-Sun-Moon system), 
  2. Guiding a Citizen Scientist program which used digital multi-meters to record the temperature and report to NASA.
  3. Eclipse image projection with a telescope system.
  4. Pin-hole cameras made out of easily available materials, such as cardboard boxes.
  5. Viewing station and how to use solar glasses to safely view the eclipse.

Looking forward to making more great memories on April 8, 2024. For ongoing department sponsored events for the 2024 eclipse, please check out the total solar eclipse department webpage.

Severla images of the eclipse activities with elementary students