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The student news site of ADM High School

Black & (Red)gister

The student news site of ADM High School

Black & (Red)gister

Ring of Fire

The annual solar eclipse
The Ring of Fire annual solar eclipse
Photo by Jorja Janssen
“The Ring of Fire” annual solar eclipse

On Monday, April 8th around 1:50 pm, Adel and other surrounding towns/cities in Iowa will experience the annual “ring of fire” solar eclipse. The solar eclipse will be seen in North America and Central America. The reason why this particular eclipse has become such a major event is because the totality (the length of time when the moon is covering the sun) will last twice as long as it did in 2017 when the last solar eclipse took place. This is the first time in almost a decade that the totality will be longer.

Iowa will only experience a partial solar eclipse. The only people who will experience a total solar eclipse are those who live in the path of totality. The path of totality is the path that the moon and sun follow where the moon blocks the sun 100%. Des Moines and surrounding towns are only expected to see 85% blockage during the solar eclipse.

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon appears to be the same size as the sun and lines up perfectly, allowing for the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, to be visible.

The path or totality is very wide and very lengthy. Many cities and towns will experience a total solar eclipse, but some notable locations include:

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  • Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 20 seconds
  • Durango, Durango, Mexico
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 50 seconds
  • Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 11 seconds
  • Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico/Eagle Pass, Texas, U.S
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 24 seconds
  • Kerrville, Texas, U.S
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 25 seconds
  • Fredericksburg, Texas, U.S
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 25 seconds
  • Dallas, Texas, U.S
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 52 seconds
  • Idabel, Oklahoma, U.S
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 19 seconds
  • Russellville, Arkansas, U.S
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 12 seconds
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri, U.S
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 7 seconds
  • Carbondale, Illinois, U.S
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 10 seconds
  • Bloomington, Indiana, U.S
    • Totality duration: 4 minutes and 3 seconds
  • Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 51 seconds
  • Cleveland, Ohio, U.S
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 50 seconds
  • Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 43 seconds
  • Rochester, New York, U.S
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 40 seconds
  • Montpelier, Vermont, U.S
    • Totality duration: 1 minute and 42 seconds
  • Oakfield, Maine, U.S
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 23 seconds
  • Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
    • 3 minutes and 31 seconds
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Totality duration: 1 minute and 57 seconds
  • Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 8 seconds
  • Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada
    • Totality duration: 3 minutes and 12 seconds
  • Catalina, Newfoundland, Canada
    • Totality duration: 2 minutes and 53 seconds

The current path of totality is 60% wider and 60% longer than it was back in 2017. It has also slightly but significantly changed. More locations are now just outside the path and others that were not expecting to be in the path are now included. The path does not typically change although this time, it has slightly shifted.

When a solar eclipse happens, the best way to watch is through solar eclipse glasses. These glasses allow you to safely watch the solar eclipse happen, protect your eyes and prevent sun damage. Solar eclipse glasses are not similar to sunglasses. Solar eclipse glasses are a thousand times darker than normal sunglasses. However, there are other ways that you can experience the Solar eclipse without the sunglasses. You can create many different DIYs for a fun and different solar eclipse experience.

When talking with ADM’s Earth and Space Science teacher, Sarah Boesen, she spoke about her experiences watching the solar eclipse back in 2017.

“The last one that happened, we had a teacher in-service day, and so we had some time that we could [make some protective gear]. There are different things you can make with paper to view it and not actually look at it. There are also different glasses you can get to actually watch it.”

Boesen has watched other eclipses in the past but does not believe that she will watch it this year due to the eclipse happening in the middle of a school day.

If you plan or want to watch the solar eclipse, please take safety precautions and buy the solar eclipse sunglasses. You can buy these glasses at local gas stations, or other local stores. You can also find them online at Amazon.

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