The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Solar eclipse assembles community, builds friendships

From+right%2C+Shay+Edmond%2C+a+senior+sociology+major%2C+and+Brianna+Hull-Dennis%2C+a+senior+political+science+major%2C+watch+the+solar+eclipse+with+friends+Monday+afternoon+at+the+campus+observatory.+Edmond+said+the+turnout+made+the+viewing+much+more+exciting.+
Rob Le Cates
From right, Shay Edmond, a senior sociology major, and Brianna Hull-Dennis, a senior political science major, watch the solar eclipse with friends Monday afternoon at the campus observatory. Edmond said the turnout made the viewing much more exciting.

The extraordinary solar eclipse brought out roughly 100 people to Eastern’s observatory Monday.

The once in a lifetime phenomenon, twice for some, drew in several people in the Charleston community to watch the eclipse. There was 99% totality in Charleston, meaning that 99% of the sun was covered by the moon.

When it happened, the sky darkened and the temperature noticeably decreased.

The chair of the physics department, Steven Daniels, helped conduct the event.

Daniels said that Illinois residents are lucky to be able to view it twice in seven years.

“[The eclipse doesn’t] come through any particular place very often,” Daniels said.

Front left to right, Rori Valentine, a senior criminology/criminal justice major, and Ashley Mickens, a senior human services major, watch the solar eclipse with friends Monday afternoon at the campus observatory. The two weren’t too excited beforehand, but after seeing the turnout, they said the energy rose. (Rob Le Cates)

He said that he and other departments in Eastern have worked together to have an event.

With the help of the Doudna Fine Arts Center, he was able to acquire a tent, and the astronomy program provided telescopes for people to look out of.

There were also seven presentations over the course of seven weeks giving information on the eclipse.

“Since the summer, we’ve been trying to put this together,” Daniels said. “We spent a lot of time working with the people in Doudna, [the office of] student life has been very helpful and we’ve worked with the library.”

Daniels said he sent a group of 20-25 his students to Robinson High School to view the eclipse.

He said that he was very pleased with the outcome.

“I was pleased with the support that I’ve gotten from the university in the various areas,” Daniels said.

Sophomore and computer information technology major Kenny Warner attended the event with a few of his friends.

He said he was happy to spend this rare event with his friends.

With all of the coverage from various news sources, Warner said that he just wanted to come out and experience it for himself.

He also has found the concept of outer space interesting.

“It was just super fun, and experiencing it with all our friends and just like people I don’t even know, it’s cool to experience something as a group and just a sense of community,” Warner said.

Additionally, he was grateful for everything that the university put together for everyone to see it.

Xiana Pettis, a sophomore biological science major, said she found the once-in-a-lifetime event cool. The next time Illinois will see a solar eclipse will be in 2099, according to NASA.

She said that it scared her because of how much was happening in the span of 10 minutes.

Even though she attended by herself, she was able to meet new friends, which she said was heartfelt.

“I didn’t come here planning on making friends and like actually seeing it with my friends,” Pettis said. “I came here by myself and then found some people to sit with, but it’s good to experience [the eclipse] with people of my age and just other people that can say they’ve seen it.”

 

Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Cam'ron Hardy
Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 
Rob Le Cates
Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief
Rob Le Cates is a junior journalism major. He previously served as summer editor-in-chief, photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest