Total Eclipse 2017 at The Citadel Recap
The celestial event of a lifetime occurred Monday, Aug. 21, over Padgett-Thomas Barracks on The Citadel’s campus. Citadel cadets, students, faculty and staff began filling up Summerall Field at 2 p.m.—approximately 46 minutes before totality—to witness the 2017 American Solar Eclipse.
Preparations for The Citadel community’s safe viewing began last week when physics professor Joel Berlinghieri, Ph.D., was featured in eclipse viewing video to discuss how to view the once-in-lifetime experience with caution. “The sun is 400,000 times brighter than the light of the moon,” said Berlinghieri. “Even if the sun is blocked so only 1 percent of the area is visible, it is still 4000 times brighter than the moon.”
WATCH ABOVE: Professor Berlinghieri briefs The Citadel community on safe solar eclipse viewing.
Cadets were prepared with their NASA-approved ISO safety glasses that were distributed during a safety briefing at breakfast in Coward Hall. Faculty were given glasses at the general faculty luncheon that kicked off the 2017-18 academic year. Staff and other students were able to pick up their safety glasses that morning from the Daniel Library. Heads tilted back and chins were out as spectators took time out of their day to witness the rare occurrence from the cosmos.
TOP: Cadets pose with their safety glasses. BOTTOM: Cadets look up ahead as partial totality occurs west of campus.
The Citadel's School of Science and Mathematics welcomed renowed scientific research society, Sigma Xi, to view the eclipse on campus. Over 50 scientists apart of Sigma Xi traveled by bus from North Carolina to view the eclipse on The Citadel’s campus. The group arrived in Charleston Sunday afternoon and spent the rest of the day touring the Holy City before the big event Monday.
As day fell into night in a matter of moments, reactions of excitement engulfed the parade ground.
LEFT: Cadets react to totality beginning to cover the campus in darkness. RIGHT: Cadets marvel up ahead as the cross at Summerall Chapel lights up.
The road less traveled and the path of totality will not collide again for at least another three decades.