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Dark Side of the Moon

Photo courtesy of Timmy Rondomanski

Photo courtesy of Timmy Rondomanski

Photo courtesy of Timmy Rondomanski

Paige Twenter and Joey O'Kelly

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  Breaking the speed limit at 1,900 miles per hour, LHS students watched in awe as the moon cast a shadow over the Earth on August 21. The moon was traveling in what is known as the “path of totality.” The path started in Oregon and made it’s way down to South Carolina, passing right over Liberty. This was a total solar eclipse – the first one to see Missouri since 1869 and the first one in the U.S. since 1979. While the eclipse began around 11:41 a.m., totality didn’t start until 1:08 p.m. and lasted two minutes and five seconds.

  Students and staff spent almost a full hour outside watching the eclipse from the stadium and other viewing areas behind the school.

  “The wide open space allowed people to see the darkening effect off the eclipse, which is really cool,” science teacher Ryan Brewer said. “Having so many people there experiencing it together, you could just feel the excitement from all of the students.”

  As soon as totality hit, there was a roar of excitement. Staff and students were cheering and clapping, their faces turned to the sun as they were able to finally take their viewing glasses off. The glasses were free and provided by the school to protect the eyes of the viewers.

  Even though there was a stormy and cloudy weather scare in the morning, the students’ eagerness was not deterred. The weather cleared just long enough for the eclipse to be visible and came back shortly after it was over – a perfectly timed storm.

  “Up to it I was really excited for it because I didn’t think we were actually going to see it because the clouds were covering it,” sophomore Tepary Cooley said. “Then we saw it I was super happy that we got to see it.”

  Aside from the stellar, once in a lifetime view, the eclipse was a learning opportunity used by many teachers.

  “I had my students look up and draw the different stages of the eclipse,” Brewer said. “All the stages that we talked about were visible and I think the kids really enjoyed it based on the comments, clapping and gasps that I heard. I thought it was really sweet.”

  Students discovered there was a large difference between learning about the total solar eclipse and actually experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

  “During it, it was awe-inspiring,” sophomore Izzie Bates said. “I had seen pictures and stuff but to see it up close and actually realize that this is actually happening was really cool.”

  Along with the moon blocking the sun and a downward shift in temperature of 5 degrees Fahrenheit, a news helicopter flew above the stadium to get footage of the sea of students viewing an event that was truly out of this world.

  “It was super dark and you could see the individual beads and corona of the sun and you could see some stars,” Cooley said. “When we went outside and there were clouds and lightning earlier it was super cool when it cleared up enough for us to see the totality.”

  Shortly after totality, students shuffled back inside. There was chatter of the eclipse for the rest of the day. When the thunder, lightning and rain came back, it was a signal that the eclipse day had ended.

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Dark Side of the Moon