Cleveland Celestial Spectacle

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By Isabella Cerveira 

Celestial events have always had a mesmerizing effect on humankind. The total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, in some states of the United States, such as Texas, Indiana, Ohio, and Vermont, and countries like Mexico and Canada, was a spectacular natural celestial event. It also left a special memory in the minds of Cleveland residents because the next solar eclipse is not expected until 2099, making this event a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon for many people. 

As an international student, I felt privileged to be living in Cleveland when the total solar eclipse occurred. Cuyahoga Community College closed for the day to allow students and staff to enjoy the event safely. I have always been fascinated by astronomy, and during my high school years in Brazil, I joined the astronomy club called Carl Sagan, named after the brilliant astronomer and science communicator. 

As a Tri-C student, the college has been helping me appreciate astronomy in many forms. One of the ways Tri-C showed support was by closing the school on Eclipse Day to allow students and staff to relax and enjoy the experience since the event brought many visitors to Cleveland as mentioned in the college email “To help alleviate traffic congestion and prevent Tri-C employees and students from having to sit in traffic jams during their commutes – and so everyone can take time to enjoy this astronomical phenomenon.” The college also distributed eclipse sunglasses to students on campus, and professors made friendly announcements, encouraging students to check out the eclipse. 

As a Mandel Scholar in the leadership program, it was offered for the students to participate in an event related to the celestial phenomenon. Mandel invited students to a meeting with Dr. Bill Janesh from Case Western Reserve’s Astronomy department at the Burrell Observatory on March 15, 2024. Thanks to all the helpful guidance and assistance, I had an incredible experience enjoying the solar eclipse from my home with my family. 

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