Nat Geo

LOS ANGELES, CA - On August 21, a total solar eclipse passed through the United States, traveling through Oregon, Illinois, North Carolina and other states. Los Angeles only experienced a partial eclipse as it was not in the path of totality, which is the region where the moon blocks the sun completely.

A solar eclipse takes place when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and blocks the sun. The last total solar eclipse to cross the United States from coast to coast took place on June 8, 1918.

Therefore, the solar eclipse we just witnessed is indeed a special event in history. UCLA students, faculty and staff were able to view a partial solar eclipse on campus through “The Great UCLA Eclipse”. This event was the largest solar outreach event organized by the UCLA earth, planetary and space sciences department. Emmanuel Masongsong, the department’s administrative specialist, was responsible for organizing this event.

From 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the UCLA community gathered in the Court of Sciences to view the sun through safe viewing glasses and telescopes. Visitors got the chance to learn more about space science and converse with earth, planetary and space sciences professors and researchers. Hundreds of people gathered in the Court of Sciences at UCLA to witness the eclipse.

Some people brought beach mats and food baskets and had mini-picnics on the grassy patches of the courtyard. The line for viewing the eclipse through the telescope was extremely long, so most people carried solar eclipse glasses or makeshift pinhole projectors made out of cardboard boxes.

It was quite a fascinating sight to observe so many people gathering together in one place to witness the solar eclipse. The next total solar eclipse is just seven years away and will take place on April 8, 2024. Hopefully, people’s interest in solar eclipses will still remain the same then.