Solar eclipse

Celestial Event Adds Flare to First Day of Classes

Students gaze up at the solar eclipse at the Rock on Monday afternoon.
By Aaliyah Weathers

Students gaze up at the solar eclipse at the Rock on Monday afternoon.

Celestial Event Adds Flare to First Day of Classes

By Aaliyah Weathers
Students and faculty gathered at the Rock to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse.

The University of Miami was buzzing all day with anticipation for the first total solar eclipse visible in at least some parts of the United States in almost 40 years. The Coral Gables campus hosted two separate events to safely witness the moon’s passage over a maximum 80 percent of the sun in Miami on a memorable first day of classes.

At the center of campus, a line stretched from The Rock down past Stanford Circle as hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered to get filtered glasses to catch the phenomenon. The event, cohosted by the student group UAstronomy and the Department of Student Activities and Student Organizations, quickly ran out of the food and glasses they had to offer, but for UAstronomy members it was a great success.

“It’s not an everyday thing, so we just wanted to get as many people as possible to see it,” said junior Suhas Seshadri. He was also thrilled by the interest among attendees to join UAstronomy, saying nearly 300 students signed up to get more information about the organization.

In the courtyard of the Knight Physics Building was another crowd of ’Canes eager to catch a glimpse of the eclipse. This event also quickly ran out of viewing glasses, but many people had other ways of experiencing it. Students like graduate student Savannah Geary came prepared with makeshift eclipse viewers crafted from cereal boxes and tinfoil that reflect a shadow of the shape of the partial eclipse. Another attendee was caught by surprise when his personal sun-filtered telescope attracted a crowd, causing a long line to wrap around the courtyard as people took turns taking a glance toward the sky.