ADAMS, Mass. — It's not every day an astronomical event coincides with the first day of school.
But for Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School students, Monday's partial eclipse was a chance to view something special together before dismissal.
"This is just a blast," new Executive Director Jay White said. "It is not as good as being in the path of totality but just look around — they are just so excited."
White, a former astrophysics professor, shared his excitement with the school community and made sure each student and faculty member had a set of eclipse glasses to safely view the event.
The students themselves were excited to end their first school day watching the moon slide across the sun.
"I know that it is when the moon covers the sun and casts a shadow on the earth," said Elijah Archer. "And it will make you blind."
Student Ollie Walter was thankful for the special glasses.
"It’s hurting my eyes and it's giving me a headache but I think it is going to look like Halloween."
Student Ashlyn Marcio said she was recently in Jackson, Wyo., which is directly under the eclipse.
"Everywhere you went, they were selling glasses. There was a lot of hype," she said. "There was way more action. Down there were signs everywhere, but this is still cool."
The eclipse was barely a blip in the Northeast and only covered about 65 percent to 70 percent of the sun, depending on where you were. Williams College had the event beginning about 1:23 p.m. and ending at 3:57 for North County, with the midpoint at 2:43.
Viewing through eclipse, or solar filter, glasses and similar filters, the sun was bright spot with a bite out of the bottom of it. But anyone out during the day probably wouldn't even have noticed anything happening.
Communities along the path of totality, which stretched from Oregon to South Carolina, saw the day turn completely to night as the moon's orbit crossed with the sun's. The last total eclipse over the contiguous United States was in 1979, but could only be viewed in the Northwest. The last time one followed a similar path across the mainland was in 1918.
However, another total eclipse will cross the United States in 2024 from south to north, coming much closer to New England and crossing over western New York and Burlington, Vt.
White said although it would have been great to view the eclipse in Tennessee, he was excited to share the experience with the children.
"I have been waiting for this eclipse for 25 years and I am from Tennessee originally and I thought I would be close to the family farm," he said. "But here I am in the Berkshires here at this wonderful school."
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