Total Eclipse of Kent State!

Long-awaited total solar eclipse happens Monday

The excitement has been building for more than a year, and the day is finally upon us!

On Monday, at approximately 3:14 p.m., darkness will fall on Kent State University during a total eclipse of the sun, a natural phenomenon not experienced in Kent, Ohio, since 1806.

The total darkness will last about three minutes. The fun and learning culminate with the Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Risman Plaza beginning at 2:45 p.m.

No in-person classes will be held on any Kent State campus on April 8.

Monday’s forecast from the National Weather Service calls for partly sunny skies with a high temperature of 66 degrees. The sunshine should make conditions favorable for a more pronounced eclipse experience.

The partial eclipse is expected from 1:59-4:29 p.m., with total darkness expected between 3:14 and 3:17 p.m. There will not be another total solar eclipse in the United States until August 2044; and not in Northeast Ohio until September 2099.

Flash Wearing Eclipse Safety Glasses

Eye Safety

Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing.

Beginning Friday, April 5, the Kent State University Bookstore on the Kent Campus will distribute protective eclipse glasses to students for free. Students must present a FLASHcard to receive glasses.

On Monday, the glasses will be distributed at Risman Plaza beginning at 1 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

Viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

When directly viewing the partial phases of the solar eclipse, which happen before and after totality, eclipse glasses must be used to prevent serious eye damage. Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the sun during the eclipse.  

A special filter also is needed for cameras when attempting to photograph the eclipse. Learn more here.

Here's What's Happening Eclipse Day


Embark on a stargazing adventure under the 40-foot dome for planetarium shows. Student guides will take guests on a captivating journey through space that explores the constellations and how to navigate the night sky.  

Show Times: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.  

Duration: 45 minutes per show  

Location: Kent State University Planetarium, 108 Smith Hall  

Capacity: 150 people per show (first-come, first-served)  

Ticket Distribution: Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis outside the planetarium at 9 a.m. for the two morning shows and at noon for the two afternoon shows. Attendees must be present to claim a ticket. No one may claim a ticket on behalf of anyone else – no exceptions.  


Unleash your creativity during an interactive open house at the Design Innovation Hub, where visitors can make and take eclipse-themed creations in the REACTOR and experience an immersive celestial exhibit in the Blank Lab. This event is open to the public.

Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Location: REACTOR (Room 150) and throughout the first floor of the DI Hub


The Wick Poetry Center will celebrate the science and wonder of the eclipse through the imaginative language of poetry. Participants will have the opportunity to share their voice or drawing by adding to the online community poem, “Shared Sky” and posting their reflections on an interactive map of the path of totality. Participants also will learn about the science and history of eclipses and make online erasure poems from scientific articles and historic texts on the website. Visit Poets for Science to share your voice now.

Time: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location: Maj Ragain Poetry Park


Engage in hands-on science projects that make a difference. Participate in initiatives led by various departments.

Time: 11 a.m. -2:30 p.m.

Location: Cunningham Hall – OUTSIDE


Beth A. Cunningham, Ph.D., Kent State alumna and chief executive officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers, will discuss the science and significance of a total solar eclipse. She also will delve into recent astronomical discoveries that have reshaped our understanding of the cosmos – from gravitational waves and the potential for life-sustaining atmospheres on distant planets to the groundbreaking insights brought to light by the James Webb Space Telescope. This presentation will also be live-streamed and recorded.

Time: 1:30-2:15 p.m.

Location: Kent Student Center Ballroom

Capacity: 800 people (first come, first served)

Ticket Distribution: Doors open at 1 p.m. and seating is first come, first served. Overflow seating is available in the Kiva Auditorium, where the presentation will be shown via livestream.



Student Accessibility Services and the Physics Department will make the eclipse accessible to the low-vision and blind community on campus with the assistive technology LightSound, which converts light brightness to sound to correspond to the changes in light. The technology allows the blind and low-vision community to experience the solar eclipse. There also will be a spot where participants can sit down, if needed, but still be outside to experience the event.  

Time: 2-4 p.m.

Location: Schwebel Room Balcony, Third Floor, Kent Student Center


The ultimate viewing party, where the sun, moon and earth will align for a cosmic dance that will leave you breathless. Professor Veronica Dexheimer, Ph.D., Department of Physics, will provide scientific commentary to viewers, and, at 3:14 p.m., the Kent Campus will be cloaked in total darkness for several mesmerizing minutes. Outdoor seating is extremely limited, so guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets.

Time: 2:45–3:45 p.m.

Location: Risman Plaza


Consider visiting Downtown Kent throughout the weekend and participating in any of the city of Kent's many events taking place. Visit Kent Eclipse 2024 for a full schedule of events and happenings.

Learn more about the eclipse at Kent State. 

POSTED: Friday, April 5, 2024 12:52 PM
Updated: Friday, April 5, 2024 03:35 PM
Lisa Abraham