The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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First Path of Totality Bound for OK Since 1918

When viewing the eclipse, proper eye protection is necessary to avoid eye damage
Elyanne Kenney
Elyanne Kenney and her dog, Luna are prepared for the upcoming total solar eclipse. The pair know how important proper eye protection is to prevent damage.

A total solar eclipse will cross the North American continent, with a partial solar eclipse seen in all 48 contiguous United States Monday, Apr. 8. In the United States, the eclipse will cover a path starting in Texas and exiting from Maine. If weather permits, in Chickasha, a partial solar eclipse will be seen starting at 12:26 p.m. and ending at 3:02 p.m., with max coverage at 1:44 p.m. and up to 93.9% of the sun covered by the moon.

This type of eclipse happens when the moon passes in front of and completely blocks out the view of the sun, leaving only the sun’s corona exposed. The corona is the sun’s outer atmosphere, which is too dim to view on a normal day. Since the moon’s orbit is not on the same plane as the Earth and sun’s orbit, about a five-degree tilt, an eclipse occurs only two to five times per year, with most years only having two solar eclipses. A total solar eclipse is rare, typically occurring twice in a three-year period across the entire Earth.

A total solar eclipse is different than an annular solar eclipse, where a ring of the sun is exposed, or a partial solar eclipse, where only a part of the sun is covered. The eclipse Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, was an annular solar eclipse.

In the United States, the last time a total solar eclipse occurred was Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, crossing a path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina. The upcoming eclipse in early April will be the first total solar eclipse with a path of totality crossing Oklahoma since June 8, 1918. People in Idabel, Oklahoma and Broken Bow, Oklahoma will be in the path of totality for this eclipse.

Elyanne Kenney, a junior psychology major, plans to travel to a small town near Broken Bow Lake to watch the eclipse with her family.

“I first saw a solar eclipse back in 2017 in Nebraska. With this one being closer to home, it makes a great family trip to go see something really awesome,” Kenney said. “We are hoping to see totality without any clouds this time.”

When viewing a solar eclipse of any kind, it is important to practice safety to avoid damage to the retinas of the eye. It only takes a few seconds of staring at an eclipse without proper protection to cause damage. To safely view an eclipse, eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers need to be used, or devices like telescopes with solar filters attached. Regular sunglasses will not protect one’s eyes during a solar eclipse, and looking through something like a camera lens without a solar filter while wearing eclipse glasses is not safe either, as the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter in the eclipse glasses.

After the eclipse in April 2024, the next total solar eclipse with a path of totality through Oklahoma will occur Saturday, Aug. 12, 2045. The path of totality for the eclipse in 2045 will pass through both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and all areas of Oklahoma will have over 95% maximum coverage of the sun.


Luka Messick is a first-year physics major at the Univeristy of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. 

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Luka Messick
Luka Messick, Contributing Writer
Luka is a first-year physics major from Tulsa. He loves music and spends most of his free time listening to music. Luka played the clarinet in high school and was part of his school's front ensemble for marching season and winter percussion season. Luka also plays video games with his friends. Since he has been on campus, Luka has joined SPS and PRISM.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Writer: Sept. 2023 - present
Elyanne Kenney
Elyanne Kenney, Contributing Writer
Elyanne is a second-year psychology major from Moore. She has a dog named Luna, and she really enjoys Taylor Swift and reading books. Elyanne can normally be found sitting in her apartment listening to music and hanging out with Luna.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Writer: Aug. 2023 - present