Students look skyward as county skies darken

Alex Peru
Alex Peru

VANCOUVER — With much anticipation, residents across Clark County looked skyward mid morning on Monday to witness the historic coast to coast solar eclipse.

Over the course of several hours, residents covered their eyes with special glasses or used indirect projections to watch as the shadow of the moon slowly covered the sun. While viewers could partake in the experience by simply stepping outside, several venues around Clark County hosted eclipse viewing parties.

At Washington State University Vancouver, the Student Activities Board hosted an event for students and community members to share the eclipse experience.

Excited students gaze upward at the progression of the eclipse at a gathering Monday at Washington State University Vancouver. Photo by Alex Peru
Excited students gaze upward at the progression of the eclipse at a gathering Monday at Washington State University Vancouver. Photo by Alex Peru
Eclipse viewers made improvised solar filters by placing eclipse glasses over cell phone cameras to photograph the eclipse Monday at Washington State University Vancouver. Photo by Alex Peru
Eclipse viewers made improvised solar filters by placing eclipse glasses over cell phone cameras to photograph the eclipse Monday at Washington State University Vancouver. Photo by Alex Peru

The event coincided with the first day of classes, and provided an exciting start to a new semester. Some professors even canceled classes so that students would not miss the eclipse.

As the moon began to obscure the sun, attendees began to don eclipse glasses and catch a glimpse of the eclipse. A large telescope was even used to safely show a projection of the shadow over the sun.

At the peak of the eclipse, the university grounds became noticeably darker and slightly cooler. Street lights flickered on briefly, and viewers were able to see the full extent of the eclipse in Clark County.

Because Clark County was not in the path of totality, the county did not experience a 100 percent blockage of the sun. As such, the day became noticeably darker, but not as dark as some had hoped.

“I thought it would get darker than it did,” student Chuck Mitchell said. “I came down here early because I thought the freeway would be bad.”

A telescope was set up at an event at Washington State University Vancouver to allow for indirect viewing of the eclipse as the moon’s shadow passed over the sun Monday. Photo by Alex Peru
A telescope was set up at an event at Washington State University Vancouver to allow for indirect viewing of the eclipse as the moon’s shadow passed over the sun Monday. Photo by Alex Peru
A WSU Vancouver staff member expectantly looks through her eclipse glasses as the moon began to cross the sun. Photo by Alex Peru
A WSU Vancouver staff member expectantly looks through her eclipse glasses as the moon began to cross the sun. Photo by Alex Peru

Student Citlalli Silva also said she thought it would be darker. Though not as dark as expected, Silva said that “the light was weird.” Silva said that the event was a good experience to witness.

Some attendees came to the event as much for the social aspect as the eclipse itself. Ben Quatier said that he attended the event not only to see the eclipse but to meet up with friends and fellow students.

“I really like socializing with people,” Quatier said, and the event allowed him to experience the eclipse with fellow students and community members.

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About The Author

Alex Peru is a 2017 graduate of Washington State University Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and a double minor in Political Science and Business Administration. Peru grew up in Battle Ground, and graduated from CAM Academy in 2013. He worked for The VanCougar, WSU Vancouver’s campus newspaper, for three years, including one year as the editor-in-chief. When not working, Peru enjoys reading books about history, working on cars and enjoying the outdoors in Clark County’s beautiful rivers, lakes and forests.

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