Partial Solar Eclipse Headlines the First Day of Classes at CSUF

Students look through a telescope, equipped with a solar lens, to observe the eclipse in front of Dan Black Hall on Aug. 21, 2017.

A student looks through a telescope, equipped with a solar lens, to observe the eclipse in front of Dan Black Hall on Aug. 21, 2017. Photo by Chris McCarthy 

The first day of the fall semester coincided with the Great American Eclipse, a total solar eclipse visible in a narrow band across the entire continental United States. Southern California witnessed only a partial eclipse, but it was still dramatic enough to draw hundreds of students and local residents to the courtyard in front of Dan Black Hall to watch the phenomenon.

The first day of every semester at Cal State Fullerton means nightmare parking and a crowded campus. But freshmen beginning their studies at CSUF on Monday, Aug. 21 were able to add a history-making event to their college experience – the Great American Solar Eclipse, which was partially visible in Fullerton from 9:06 to 11:45 a.m.

At 10:21 a.m., the eclipse – in which the moon covers the sun – reached its maximum extent, obscuring 69% of the sun’s light.

Eerie shadows were visible across campus, the temperature dropped noticeably, and students and faculty alike took time out from class to enjoy the experience.

The Great American Eclipse as visible from Madras, Oregon, which was in the path of totality. Photo from NASA

The Great American Eclipse as visible from Madras, Oregon, which was in the path of totality. Photo from NASA

The Great American Eclipse was the first time that a total solar eclipse has traversed the entire contiguous United States since 1918. This time around, the closest approach of totality (the condition in which the sun is fully obscured) occurred in northern Oregon. The next such event will occur in 2045. However, eclipses are occasionally visible at locations worldwide, much to the delight of astronomy buffs and sun worshippers alike.

When’s the Next Eclipse?

Want to be prepared for the next eclipse? The next partial eclipse visible in Southern California won’t occur until Oct. 14, 2023, when 78% of the sun will be obscured over Southland skies. Be sure to wear protective solar eclipse eyeglasses, as looking directly into the sun can damage your vision.

What are your thoughts on the eclipse? Have great photos to share? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch by commenting below or on Mihaylo’s official social media.

In a scene emblematic of the technology obsession most of us have in 2017, a student attempts to take a photo of the eclipse by placing her smartphone in front of the eyepiece of the telescope at Dan Black Hall on Aug. 21, 2017.

In a scene emblematic of the technology obsession most of us have in 2017, a student attempts to take a photo of the eclipse by placing her smartphone in front of the eyepiece of the telescope at Dan Black Hall. Photo by Chris McCarthy 

About dcoats

I'm Daniel Coats, a CSU Fullerton Communications graduate student
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