OSU uses eclipse to promote astronomy classes

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Jim DeGrand of the Ohio State University Geography department brought his telescope to the oval Monday afternoon. He was pleasantly surprised by the turnout and the level of interest in the eclipse. “It’s fantastic,” DeGrand said. “It’s great that people are engaged in a celestial event you know. How often does that happen?”

With the start of classes still a day away, hundreds of students and faculty poured onto the oval to watch and to share the experience with others.

“Very, very exciting,” said first-year student Claire Cary from Cleveland. “I don’t have any other word for it. It’s just thrilling to be able to experience it.”

Cloud cover obscured the view from the oval throughout much of the eclipse. But watchers were in awe when the clouds gave way. They watched through eclipse glasses, cameras and pinhole box projectors.

Astronomy professor David Weinberg said the astronomy department distributed thousands of eclipse-watching glasses including 1,400 over the past two days. “We have been shamelessly promoting our undergraduate astronomy courses and yesterday when we gave out a thousand glasses, we also gave out lists of all our courses.”

Astronomy major Gaby Torrini said the cloud cover did not take away from how special it was. “This is pretty exciting for me because it’s the first solar eclipse I’ve been old enough to enjoy and really want to see,” Torrini said.

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