Jesia Choity ’27  |  Published April 22, 2024

Totally Into It

Witnessing the celestial spectacle: A Monmouth student’s journey to the solar eclipse

A CLEAR VIEW: The author is pictured third from left, in the moments before the total solar eclipse on April 8. A CLEAR VIEW: The author is pictured third from left, in the moments before the total solar eclipse on April 8.MONMOUTH, Ill. – On April 8, I embarked from Monmouth College with a group of avid sky watchers on a remarkable journey, chasing the shadow of the moon as it cast its ethereal veil upon Earth in a total solar eclipse. Our destination: Vincennes University in Indiana – after almost a five-hour trip – to get the perfect viewpoint of this celestial ballet in all its glory.

As the sun rose on that fateful morning, excitement and anticipation filled the air. Armed with eclipse glasses, cameras and a sense of wonder, we set out on our expedition, traversing highways and byways, fueled by the promise of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The journey itself was an adventure, with conversations flowing freely, fueled by a shared passion for astronomy and the mysteries of the cosmos. We exchanged anecdotes, shared knowledge and eagerly anticipated the moment when day would turn to night as the moon’s shadow engulfed the sun.

Upon reaching our destination, the atmosphere was electric. We joined many fellow eclipse-chasers, all eagerly awaiting the main event. As the moon began its inexorable journey across the face of the sun, anticipation reached a fever pitch. Time seemed to slow as the world around us grew dim, the temperature dropped and the sounds of nature fell silent.

As the last sliver of sunlight was extinguished, we were treated to a four-minute spectacle that was beyond words.


And then, it happened.

Totality.

As the last sliver of sunlight was extinguished, we were treated to a four-minute spectacle that was beyond words. The corona blazed forth in all its splendor, a shimmering halo of light dancing around the blackened disk of the moon. Stars appeared in the midday sky, and the horizon glowed with an otherworldly twilight.

In that fleeting moment, we were all silent.

For those precious minutes, all differences were forgotten as we stood in silent reverence, united by the shared experience of witnessing nature’s grandeur.

We were reminded of our place in the universe, of the delicate dance of celestial bodies, and of the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds us. For those precious minutes, all differences were forgotten as we stood in silent reverence, united by the shared experience of witnessing nature’s grandeur.

As the sun emerged from behind the moon, the world slowly returned to normalcy, but the memory of the eclipse will remain etched in our minds forever. It was a journey of discovery, of camaraderie, and of wonder – a testament to the power of nature to inspire, to amaze, and to unite us all.

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