All eyes on the sky

Total eclipse of the heart


D'Aujah Gordon

Los Medanos College student Natalie Yoshimoto and her son Elliot were able to witness the first total eclipse in 99 years to be seen across the U.S. in the Outdoor Quad Monday, Aug. 21. Students around campus came together to get a glimpse of the

It’s not everyday that the Los Medanos quad is filled with hundreds of students wearing glasses and using light boxes. But when the last total solar eclipse in the U.S. occurred more than 99 years ago, it definitely creates excitement on campus.

During the solar eclipse, which lasted from 9 to 12 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21, students and teachers joined together in the quad, fully equipped with light boxes and solar eclipse glasses. While many students may have been in class during the eclipse, some teachers took their students outside to experience the natural phenomenon.

Art and Humanities instructor Ken Alexander was one of the teachers who brought his class to the outside quad to view the eclipse and made sure that his students viewed it safely. Along with ceramics instructor Lucy Snow, Alexander layered welding glasses so that his students could view the eclipse without getting eye damage, or resorting to homemade viewers.

“There’s a standard you have to meet to protect your eyes,” said Alexander adding that they thought by adding layers to the glasses would meet that protection, which it did. While most witnessed the eclipse with goggles, glasses and light boxes, a few adventurous students and faculty members went up to the top of the science building for a better viewing experience.

“Two of the part-time teachers setup telescopes on the roof of the science building and they had — I guess about a hundred students or more — go up and look at the eclipse through those telescopes,” explained Astronomy instructor Scott Cabral. “It’s a big news story so it was nice to be involved in this big, social phenomenon.”

The telescopes proved to be a success with students as many had yet to witness an eclipse and the telescopes provided a great means to view it.

“I’ve never seen a solar eclipse so it was my first time experiencing it,” said LMC student Jordan Avila. “Me and a few friends went to the roof of the science building where they had set up two telescopes and they passed out a handful of eclipse glasses. The eclipse was really cool.”

LMC student Spencer Rohrer not only enjoyed his personal experience, but also believed that the eclipse was a positive thing for the student body as a whole.

“The students were really into this historic event and it made others more involved because everyone else was doing it,” said Spencer Rohrer. “Many students are very independent so the eclipse brought new students together as a unit.”