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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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Total Eclipse of the Sun

%40adlerplanet+on+Instagram
@adlerplanet on Instagram

Even though there is a weather forecast of sunny and 62 degrees on Monday, April 8, it will not be the weather that will drive millions of people out of their homes, offices, and schools this Monday afternoon. Instead, people will be observing and celebrating the total solar eclipse. As the moon moves in front of the sun and thereby completely blocks the sun, it will actually become dark enough to pick out bright stars and planets.

While Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Knollwood are not located in the path of totality, and therefore will not experience the total solar eclipse, the moon will cover about 92.3% of the sun in our area. In this area, the big event will start at 12:51 p.m. with a partial eclipse. This will be followed by the period of totality at 1:33 p.m. and will be at its height at 2:07 p.m. The near totality will end at 2:41 p.m. and the partial eclipse will end at 3:21. 

The last total solar eclipse in this area was in 2017, but it will be imperative to get out and see this one safely, as the next total solar eclipse in the US will not take place until August 2044.

Because the next total solar eclipse won’t take place for another 20 years, millions of people who do not live in the path of totality are traveling to find it. Some estimates put the number of travelers at over 4 million people. Towns from Texas to Indiana are declaring states of emergency because of the expected influx of people.

Senior Alejandro Orestano is one of these travelers. He is going to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to attend an event organized by NASA and Purdue University. 

“This eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m traveling to Indianapolis to see the full ‘ring of fire’ effect that won’t be seen in Lake Forest.”

Since the eclipse takes place in the middle of a school day, and perhaps traveling is not possible, there are places closer to home to observe the event. 

Closest to home, the Lake Forest Library is hosting a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party. Starting at 10:30 a.m., in the library foyer, visitors are invited to get a pair of glasses and see the eclipse, or, if it’s cloudy, they will livestream the event. There will be other activities and refreshments as well.

@lakeforestlibrary on Instagram

In downtown Chicago, the Adler Planetarium will be hosting a free outdoor Eclipse Encounter ’24 Event. They will have activities around the outside of the Planetarium, including telescopes on the terrace, free solar viewing glasses, and they will also be selling eclipse merchandise.

Of course, one could also travel to be with the crowds in one of the locations in the path of totality, or one could take to the skies to try and see the eclipse from a commercial airline. Delta Airlines has scheduled two special flights to chase the eclipse path. One will fly from Austin to Detroit and the other will fly from Dallas to Detroit. United has 11 flights that will intersect the pathway and is even handing out complimentary eclipse glasses. Other airlines are also advertising which of their flights have the best chance of seeing the eclipse from the skies.

No matter if you watch the eclipse from the front lawn of the high school or 30,000 feet in the sky, you must use proper solar viewing equipment to look at the sun. Sunglasses and homemade filters are not acceptable for viewing an eclipse. In fact, irreversible eye damage can occur in seconds. Therefore, be sure to use certified solar viewing glasses.

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About the Contributor
Sydney Kirages
Sydney Kirages, Staff Writer
Senior Sydney Kirages is involved in Robotics, Yearbook, Student Council, Orchestra, Speech Team, Theater, and the Varsity Badminton Team.  She  loves to volunteer, study history, and discover the world outside of the classroom.
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