Preparing for the Eclipse

Kent State prepares for April 8, 2024, when the total solar eclipse comes to Northeast Ohio
Alex Clevinger

On April 8, around 3:15 p.m., Northeast Ohio will experience a total solar eclipse, where the moon will completely cover the sun and reveal the corona, the sun’s atmosphere.  

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, this will be the first total eclipse in Ohio since 1806, and the next is predicted for 2099. You could say this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the area.  

Alex Clevinger, doctoral student and teaching assistant in Kent State University’s Department of Physics, is most excited about the optical illusion that will occur during the total eclipse.  

“Our eclipses are so rare, but they're actually because the moon and the sun appear to be about the same size in the sky,” Clevinger said. “When you look up in the sky, the moon and the sun are about the same size which is pretty unusual. The Earth has a pretty big moon. The moon is about a fifth of the size of the Earth.”  

Eclipse glasses

To view the optical illusion of the eclipse, you must wear specific eyewear. According to NASA, regular UV glasses cannot protect your eyes from the rays of the sun, and neither can camera, binocular, or telescope lenses.  

Instead, wear “safe solar viewers” that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard, NASA insists.  

During the total eclipse, expect some time of twilight as the moon covers the sun, but Kent isn’t in the direct total coverage area, Clevinger said.

“I wouldn't say the middle of the night darkness, but maybe more than twilight, towards sunset,” Clevinger said, “It's not going to be completely dark because we're still going to be seeing the corona of the sun.”  

Clevinger’s favorite part of eclipses is the history behind them. He mentioned both Ancient Greece and a Concorde Jet. 

According to National Geographic, in 1973, scientists boarded a jet and chased an eclipse in Africa as the moon’s shadow cast itself across the continent, giving them 74 minutes of totality.  

In "Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond" from the Library of Congress, there is the story of Aristarchus of Samos, a Greek astronomer who determined lunar eclipses were key to understanding and documenting Earth’s shape in the 3rd century, B.C.  


Veronica Dexheimer, associate professor and director of Center for Nuclear Research in the Department of Physics noted these fun facts from NASA:

  1. This is a lifetime experience! The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806. The next total solar eclipse in Ohio will be in the year 2099.
  2. We can’t normally see the corona ­– the Sun’s outer atmosphere – because the Sun’s surface below it is so much brighter. But during a total solar eclipse, the corona becomes visible, offering unique opportunities to study it.
  3. When the Moon completely blocks the visible surface of the Sun during a total solar eclipse, viewers can remove their eclipse glasses. A total solar eclipse is the only type of solar eclipse where eclipse glasses can be momentarily removed.
  4. When a solar eclipse reaches totality, nocturnal wildlife sometimes wakes up, thinking that it’s nighttime, and non-nocturnal wildlife might think it’s time to head to sleep!
  5. The Moon's shadow is cool, literally! When it swept by Lusaka, Zambia, on June 21, 2001, the air temperature dropped nearly 15 degrees F. 
Kent State Eclipse Icon
POSTED: Thursday, February 22, 2024 11:49 AM
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2024 03:41 PM
Francesca Malinky, Flash Communications