Friday, August 21st, 2017, was the first total solar eclipse to pass over the United States in a while. There is some debate among professionals, but according to some sources, the last total solar eclipse seen from Missouri was in 1442. However, others claim one was seen in 1869.
Solar eclipses happen all the time all over the world, but it’s not every day one passes through your hometown. According to scientists, the next solar eclipse will be in 7 years. It will pass through Missouri, but not directly over New Haven. Scientists also know the moon is moving 1.6 inches away from the Earth every year, so eventually, over the course of thousands of years, the moon will be too far away from the Earth to create a total solar eclipse.
Totality in New Haven only lasted about 2 minutes, and in my own experience, it was the fastest 2 minutes of my life. The first contact was at about 12 P.M., totality was at 1:17, and the last contact was at about 2:40. Students at New Haven high got to go outside to view the event for about 50 minutes.
There was so much to focus on at once, I didn't know what to look at. My favorite part was the 360-degree sunset and the diamond ring effect. The sunset seemed like it came out of nowhere and some stars came out as well. I was interested in how bright the sky got when only the diamond ring was shining through, but it took almost no time for the bright sun to come back out and heat everything up again. It truly was an amazing experience to watch a solar eclipse in my hometown with my friends.
Other New Haven students seemed to agree and had their own unique experiences that day. For instance, sophomore McKenzie Pecaut and senior Liz Hughes said their favorite part was getting out of class for 50 minutes. Freshman Hannah Rethemeyer said her favorite part was when we got to take our glasses off during totality.