• Marion, Indiana

News for IWU’s Campus

Campus Prepares for Upcoming Solar Eclipse

by Kennedy Conger, Bryce Crossman, Sydney Leyerle, Kenzie Ogden, Brian Weah

In anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, groups around campus continue to plan ways for students to experience the historic encounter.

Physics professor Dr. Warren Rogers said that for two minutes, Marion will experience darkness in the middle of the afternoon.

“It’s going to be pitch black…we’re going to see stars in the sky, if in fact we don’t have clouds,” Rodgers said. “Even if it’s clouded over, we’ll still see two minutes of nighttime.”

For weeks, Rogers said students have spent time familiarizing themselves with telescopes in preparation for the solar eclipse. The physics department plans to provide and set up telescopes on Goodman lawn for students to get a clearer image of the eclipse.

Derick Floresmadrid is a senior physics student working alongside Rogers in planning the event. 

“We’ve been pretty constantly taking out telescopes, like almost every day,” Floresmadrid said. “(We’re) making sure that we know how to control the telescopes… and that everything’s set up properly.”

Rogers said that the department will provide hundreds of solar eclipse glasses available for students to use.

“It’s very important that students not look directly at the sun anytime during the eclipse and especially when the sun is still visible,” Rogers said. “These are completely safe as long as both eyes are covered with the glasses,” he said.

Floresmadrid and Rodgers said that the department is also preparing to project a livestream of the eclipse as an option for students to watch without looking directly at the sun.

Aside from the physics department, the campus bookstore incorporated new arrivals for students to purchase in celebration of the eclipse.

Anna Mallery, campus store manager, said she messaged her team about the possibility of doing something fun for the eclipse. 

“The first day I set the table out, there was kind of a swarm that came in,” Mallery said. “Everybody’s been really excited since they found out they were glow in the dark shirts.”

The limited-edition t-shirts are available at the campus store for $18 along with the solar eclipse glasses for $2.

Rodgers said that students seem excited about the phenomenon and that the rarity of the eclipse could be a life changing experience.

“This event can be potentially life changing. To see the sun suddenly go out for two minutes during the day, it’s not very normal,” Rogers said.

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