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The Shadow that Swept the Nation into Ecliptical Excitement

The view of totality during the 2017 solar eclipse.

The+view+before+totality+%28top+left%29%2C+during+%28top+right%29%2C+and+after+totality+%28bottom%29.+Senior+Jessica+Lamberty+traveled+to+Carbondale%2C+IL.+to+witness+totality+during+the+eclipse+on+Monday%2C+August+21.
The view before totality (top left), during (top right), and after totality (bottom). Senior Jessica Lamberty traveled to Carbondale, IL. to witness totality during the eclipse on Monday, August 21.

The view before totality (top left), during (top right), and after totality (bottom). Senior Jessica Lamberty traveled to Carbondale, IL. to witness totality during the eclipse on Monday, August 21.

Julie Lamberty

Julie Lamberty

The view before totality (top left), during (top right), and after totality (bottom). Senior Jessica Lamberty traveled to Carbondale, IL. to witness totality during the eclipse on Monday, August 21.

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On Monday, August 21, 2017 at approximately 1:21 PM, more than one million people from all over the country gathered along the line of totality. The solar eclipse spanned across the entire United States, crossing through California, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, southern Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Some students travelled south to view the eclipse in its entirety.

Tom Tom senior editor Jessica Lamberty and her family went to Carbondale, Ill. to view the eclipse. The eclipse viewed from southern Illinois had the second longest time overall at nearly 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

For me, my favorite part of the eclipse was the moment totality occurred and the whole area went dark. For two minutes, everyone was clapping, cheering and taking pictures, and there was an overwhelming feeling of happiness and unity.

For students who stayed up north, the feeling was less than ecstatic.

Antioch Community High School spent the day in preparation for the eclipse with a pep rally in the outdoor football stadium. The students and staff were provided with safety viewing glasses and spread out on the field, waiting for the eclipse to occur. The eclipse, however, was not very exciting due to heavy cloud coverage and being viewed outside of the line of totality.

Senior Tracey Wilczopolski was dissatisfied with the eclipse, but enjoyed the pep assembly.

“We couldn’t really see it,” Wilczopolski said. “It only lasted a minute.”

Luckily, another solar eclipse is predicted to occur April 8, 2024. The new path crosses over southern Illinois, so anyone who missed the eclipse this past Monday will have the opportunity to travel towards Carbondale, Ill. or Indianapolis, Ind. to witness the full eclipse. For more on the eclipse in 2024, visit https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2024Apr08Tgoogle.html.

A small piece of advice for those planning to travel to view the next eclipse: beware of traffic when returning home. Illinois closed all of their rest stops on the way back to Antioch due to a shortage in toilet paper, so prepare for a long ride home.

Remember, always wear specially designed viewing glasses when looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, or permanent blindness could result.

Until next time, turn on Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and find the perfect destination to view the eclipse in 2024.

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The student news site of Antioch Community High School.
The Shadow that Swept the Nation into Ecliptical Excitement