As the moon began to block the rays of the sun by what seemed to be a quarter of an inch, a rare global event took place Monday.
The Cal State Fullerton physics department hosted a campus viewing of the solar eclipse Monday, inspiring many to view the natural phenomenon.
Hundreds of students and families gathered on the lawn in front of Dan Black Hall, hoping to spot the once-in-a-lifetime event. Although there was a lengthy line to see the eclipse with proper telescopes, many enjoyed the sight with eclipse-safe glasses.
“It’s a nice time to step back and see ourselves as part of a universe that’s doing these incredible, astronomical things,” said physics professor Jocelyn Read.
Television monitors sat underneath a tent on the lawn for many to view NASA’s live streaming of the eclipse, while others used index cards with pinholes provided by the department to see the shadow the eclipse casted.
“The fact that there is a total eclipse in the U.S. has really built awareness, because that’s a more rare event,” Read said.
Read, along with other faculty members from the department, were at the event to assist and answer questions anyone had.
“It’s fantastic to see so many people excited about it; we have these astronomical events every couple of years,” Read said.
A total eclipse was only visible in a narrow portion of the United States, while the rest of North America, some parts of Europe, South America and Africa got a partial glimpse, according to NASA’s website,
Although Fullerton was not in the path of totality — which means certain regions in the path are able to view the moon’s shadow on the earth — the viewing of a partial eclipse still enticed many for different reasons.
For CSUF alumna and Children’s Center staff member Jennie Imatomi, who heard about the event through the campus newsletter, it was the event’s rarity.
“It’s a big deal because it might not happen again in a while,” Imatomi said.
Christina Previti, one of the members in the crowd, found the solar eclipse viewing as an opportunity to bond with her 13-year-old daughter.
“I wanted to share this experience with her, it’ll be something that she’ll remember for many years to come. We’ll always remember it,” Previti said.
The solar eclipse drew upon the interest of many, and created a unique start to the fall semester.
Those who missed the solar eclipse will have to wait a while for the next one visible across North America, which won’t occur until April 8, 2024.