The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

Spectacular Solar Eclipse Graces Pennsylvania Skies: A Celestial Phenomenon to Remember


On April 8, 2024, Pennsylvania residents were treated to a celestial spectacle as a solar eclipse appeared in the sky with awe-inspiring beauty. The phenomenon, though not uncommon, drew crowds of eager skywatchers across the United States, all eager to witness the breathtaking event firsthand. While many schools canceled classes, Greater Latrobe Senior High School granted its students a half day off to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking out the sun’s light either partially or, in the case of a total eclipse, completely. “Totality,” occurs when the moon completely covers the sun, plunging the surrounding area into darkness. 

During this brief period, stars become visible, and the sun’s outer atmosphere, known as the corona, becomes visible to the naked eye. It’s a rare and breathtaking sight that leaves observers in awe of the universe’s grandeur. Although total solar eclipses occur about every 18 months they are often over the ocean in the middle of nowhere. When they do appear over land it is an astonishing experience for people to witness.

The April 8, 2024 event was particularly captivating as it brought about a total solar eclipse in northern regions of the state of PA. In the area of Latrobe the eclipse wasn’t quite as dramatic, with a sliver of the sun still visible behind the moon. And although not completely dark, the area did descend into an eerie twilight. This incredible experience  brought people together and was enjoyed in gatherings of people including friends, family, and even strangers. 

While witnessing a solar eclipse is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience, it was imperative to exercise caution. Staring directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause severe eye damage or even permanent blindness. The intense solar radiation emitted during an eclipse can overwhelm the retina, leading to solar retinopathy. Therefore, proper eye protection, such as solar viewing glasses or specially designed eclipse viewers, is essential to safely observe the event. 

During the week before the eclipse Mr. Roberts, who is the Capstone teacher, gave his students a pair of solar eclipse glasses so that they could view it with safety. He mentioned as he was handing them out that he ordered the glasses months in advance from a certified store knowing how big this event would become. Many places sold these special glasses, but by the time of the event, these glasses were impossible to find for many.

For those who missed out on the April 8, 2024 eclipse, fear not, as another opportunity awaits in the not-so-distant future. The next total solar eclipse visible in Pennsylvania is set to occur on August 23, 2044. Even though this is the next one for PA to view, there is a solar eclipse in southern Chile and southern Argentina on Oct. 2, 2024. Global Scholars is sending donations of solar eclipse glasses to students there. To be a part of this experience, students in South America, donate spare eclipse glasses to (JH) B-210 or B-202 by 4/19.

The April 8, 2024, solar eclipse served as a reminder of the wonders of the cosmos and the beauty of the natural world. From casual skywatchers to seasoned astronomers, people of all ages came together to marvel at the spectacle unfolding above them. As the moon slowly made its journey across the sun, it left a mark on the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to witness it, reminding everyone of the incredible beauty the universe holds.Mark the calendars and prepare to witness another extraordinary celestial event.

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About the Contributor
Willow Murphy
Willow Murphy, Staff Writer
     Willow Murphy is a senior at Greater Latrobe High School. This is her first year in multimedia journalism which makes this her first year doing The High Post. She is a very academically focused student recognized  by the National Honors Society. Willow is interested in writing about the student life at Greater Latrobe during her last year of high school to express how high school can be an intense yet enjoyable experience to everyone. She is planning on attending college after high school in hopes to study biology. Willow has always had a passion for writing stories and since this is her last year to write for The High Post she decided to express herself publicly. Her favorite endeavors is to learn about the world through traveling and opening her mind by experiencing the world. She tends to spend much of her down time with family and friends, doing mundane activities such as board games and simply sitting at home watching tv to more adventurous pursuits such as hiking cliff walks in Rhode Island or exploring more urban environs like Dallas and Boston. Willow is planning on going to college in a New England state due to her love for New England and the various schools she has toured. Her passion for traveling has allowed her to meet new people and see so many different places at a young age. Willow’s love for traveling is always accompanied by family and friends.  Willow has been to several different schools because of her family moving around when she was younger, but has been settled down in the Latrobe school district since she was in eighth grade. She knows what it is like to be a new kid in school and wants to use this writing platform to illustrate to new kids or incoming freshmen that Greater Latrobe is a family and that you can find a home anywhere, whether it be in clubs, sports, or the student section. Her main goal is to leave a positive impact on others by writing on The High Post.

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