Tuolumne County Views Eclipse
September 18, 2017
On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, the moon came between the sun and the earth, resulting in total darkness in an event known as a solar eclipse. People from many places of the world travelled to witness this 90 minute occurrence across North America, from Oregon to South Carolina.
Among these people was a Summerville High School senior, Fred Hayward. Hayward journeyed to Oregon, in order to observe the eclipse.
“It’s really, really bright, and when the moon is three-fourths of the way, it’s suddenly night time, and it seems too dark. Then the sun’s just gone,” Hayward stated, “all the birds that were flying, just drop down and stop, like they’re dead. And for a solid minute, I just sit there and watch the eclipse.”
Not only did students travel northward to watch the eclipse, but also teachers. Mr. Tucker, Summerville’s chemistry, physics and robotics teacher, went to Oregon to conduct an experiment on the effects of the eclipse’s shadows on wireless communication.
“I went with my family up to Oregon, and we had a hand radio operator, so we actually did an experiment with it. Because of the way the shadow affects the atmosphere, it actually affects how wireless communication works,” Mr. Tucker stated.
However, Mr. Tucker did not only conduct experiments while in Oregon, he also enjoyed viewing the eclipse.
Mr. Tucker said, “The eclipse itself was so amazing. When, it becomes this total eclipse, everything just goes dark. The stars start to come out, and the entire sun’s not blocked, so you get this ring of pure white light, and that’s not something you can see without the eclipse.”
While many people travelled to go see the eclipse, some students watched the eclipse right in Tuolumne County. Junior Haley Baldwin was at Black Oak Casino on her way to Summerville’s orientation when she watched the solar eclipse.
“We used funnels, cardboard boxes, glasses and tried everything we found online to see it. When we saw it, the eclipse kind of looked like a crescent moon, but the crescent was the sun,” she said.
Another individual that watched the eclipse in Tuolumne was substitute teacher, Mrs. Woodbury. Mrs.Woodbury viewed the eclipse during a district-wide teachers training.
“The people at the training knew it was important enough to leave our training to go out and see it. It was fun experiencing the eclipse with other people, plus we got the cool glasses. It was a pretty amazing phenomena.”
After hearing the many experiences of those who witnessed the solar eclipse, some may be disappointed that they were unable to view the occurrence. However, those hoping to see it can get the telescopes ready, as the next solar eclipse will be on April 8, 2024.