Eclipse ‘lived up to the hype,’ senior says

Pictured is the 2024 Solar Eclipse in totality. Photo courtesy of Olivia Shirk for Flyer News.

Ben Ruth |Contributing Writer

“It was cool to be with all my friends and watch the eclipse. I thought that it lived up to the hype,” senior Joseph Maxfield said about April 8, which was not just another ordinary one at the University of Dayton. 

About 1 p.m., students and faculty – some with children – and staff started to file in and pack the field outside Kennedy Union where there was a variety of gadgets, food, and things to do at the cookout the university hosted. Throughout campus, students gathered to see a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (maybe twice or more if one is lucky) to watch a total solar eclipse. Luckily for UD, Dayton happened to be in the path of totality, something that not everyone in the world could experience.

“Things like this only happen so often, I think it’s important to experience them,” Maxfield said. 

For the spirit of the day, UD canceled all classes from 1:25 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. If not for that decision, many students would not have had the ability to see the eclipse if classes had been held as scheduled.

“I am very happy that UD canceled our classes,” senior Grace Kauten said. “I had three classes in between the hours of one and four and they were all canceled due to the eclipse.”

The last total solar eclipse in North America was on Aug. 21, 2017. Being that it was not too long ago, some students were able to remember their previous experiences with the solar eclipse.

“I remember the eclipse and I was at home, but it was nothing like this one,” freshman Owen Basso said. “All you could see, if you really focused, was a sliver of the moon passing over the sun, there was no real change in the brightness outside.”

“I actually do,” Maxfield said. “I was in high school and we all got to go to the field after exiting our classes. It was a lot more disappointing, pretty sure I missed totality by a good amount.”

Being able to see totality is as rare as things come, especially in this day and age. Based on research, the moon billions of years ago was a lot closer to the Earth than it is now. As years go on, the moon will gradually become further and further away from the Earth because of tidal forces that transfer the “Earth’s rotational momentum to the moon”. So, as years go on, who knows how many more times people on Earth will be able to see totality. The students at UD on Monday were able to express the takeaways they got from this historic event.

“I think the biggest takeaway is just how many intricacies there are to our universe,” Basso said. “Something spectacular like that is so rare everyone should make it a priority to witness it if possible.”

Jake Pentasuglio said, “I thought it was way cooler than expected. It was fun that all the students got to watch it together outside.”

For most of the students at UD, some may not realize its importance in the grand scheme of things, however, many believe that people must not ignore some of the themes the day will teach us. When asked of its importance, some students responded this way:

“That’s a good question,” Maxfield said. “It is important because we have to remember that we are a part of a big solar system here with many moving parts.”

Senior Sarah Hogan: “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I will never forget it.” 

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