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Photo Essay: Look Up! Howard University Students Witness Historic Solar Eclipse

A group of students wearing their special solar eclipse glasses while sitting on the Yard to watch the eclipse on Monday, April 8. Experts recommend that people wear these kinds of glasses to protect their eyes from radiation and possible damage. (Emmarah Kouadio/The Hilltop) 

On April 8, a total solar eclipse swept across parts of North America. 

According to NASA, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking the Sun and darkening the day “as if it were dawn or dusk.” 

Only part of the sun was blocked in Washington, D.C., as the nation’s capital was not in the eclipse “path of totality.” However, that didn’t stop students at Howard University from getting their glasses and finding their spot on the Yard to witness the rare celestial event. 

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in the United States was in 2017. That eclipse stretched from west to east, crossing through states like Oregon, Kansas, Tennessee and South Carolina. 

This year, the first images of a total eclipse came from Mazatlan, Mexico, before running north through Texas and reaching Canada.

Graduating senior, Cece White, catches a glimpse of the solar eclipse overhead using glasses they received from a friend on campus. (Emmarah Kouadio/The Hilltop)

Cece White, a graduating senior, found themself overwhelmed by the mass amount of students gathered on the Yard to witness the solar eclipse. 

“I really like eclipses, and I am about to graduate, so this will be one of my last memories on campus,” they said. 

Junior international business major Richard Mbanaso protects his eyes by wearing his solar eclipse safety glasses with peers on campus. The Clarksburg, Maryland native said the solar eclipse touched his inner child who was once interested in outer space.  (Emmarah Kouadio/The Hilltop)

During the solar eclipse viewing, graduating senior, Richard Mbanaso, reflects on his childhood fascination with astronomy. 

“My parents got me a little telescope set and everything,” he said. “I used to study the moon, stars, and constellations. It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in that realm, but I can say I made young Richard happy today by witnessing this solar eclipse.”

Students take photos of the solar eclipse through their glasses to capture an image of the eclipse. Experts say that the eclipse can even damage your phone’s camera. (Emmarah Kouadio/The Hilltop)

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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