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Rare solar eclipse to pass over Star Valley in late August

Rachel Wood, Staff Writer

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We asked some of our fellow students what would be a rare occurrence that happens at SVHS?  And what would be something that would shock them if they saw it? Here are some of their answers!

-Brandon Kunz wearing tennis shoes

-Randal Griffith showing up to class

-Mattson wearing something other than a plaid shirt

-Ms. Erickson wearing a skirt

We may never see the aforementioned come to pass, but we will see a rare solar eclipse in Star Valley late this summer! On August 21,2017 (the first day of school next year), there will be a solar eclipse passing right through our valley! A solar eclipse occurs when the moon, earth, and sun perfectly align so that the shadow of the moon is on a section of the earth.  We will be in the shadow. While a solar eclipse happens, the moon passes in front of the sun and the sun is covered! From earth we see a wonderful event similar to the picture below! Here are some questions you may have about this special solar eclipse.

Why is this eclipse special?

Solar eclipses happen about 2 times every year in various parts of the world, but there has not been a total solar eclipse in Wyoming since 1878. This eclipse is especially rare because it will last far longer than most. The upcoming total eclipse will last 2 minutes in the umbra (fully shadowed area on earth), while some last only 20 seconds. Hundreds of thousands of tourists and scientists have already booked almost every hotel in Wyoming for this special event.

Whats going to happen?

When a total eclipse occurs, the sky goes dark. This might not be a surprise, but it I’ll be spectacular to witness. Animals will think it’s night time! Birds will stop chirping, chickens will go to their coop, and cats will countinue to not to care about anything. It will go dark like night, and we will be able to see stars! We also will be able to see Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. This eclipse could also suddenly drop the temperature by 15 degrees and the wind patterns will be thrown off.

How can I safely view the eclipse? a

NOTE: DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITH BARE EYES

  1. look through a welder’s helmet or welding glass shade 14+
  2. solar filtered eclipse glasses
  3. a telescope with a solar filter
  4. pinhole camera

Are there any issues with this eclipse?

Yes, the one issue is that when our district was making next year’s school schedule, they did not take this rare phenomenon into consideration. That’s not an issue for the eclipse, but a problem with bad planning. Mr. Kurt-Mason has already taken steps to rectify this and is busily passing around a petition to get this day out of school for your full eclipse-viewing pleasure. Another issue is that all of the hotels are already booked and the traffic is going to be CRAZY! One final thing to take into consideration is that we live in a mountainous area which is more likely to accumulate clouds. If there are clouds, you won’t be able to see the eclipse, so possible traveling to the less beautiful areas of Wyoming might be beneficial.

Although there are a couple things that you will need to work around, this solar eclipse is an opportunity you should not pass up! We are so close, and we should make sure to get the full experience.

Here is a map of where the Umbra will pass through Wyoming- This is the best place to view the total eclipse!

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I Can’t Believe My Eyes