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A Solar Phenomenon

Mr. Tim McCarty/used with permission
Solar Eclipse during total eclipse on April 8, 2024.

Note: Source interviews occurred and article was written prior to the solar eclipse.

On April 8, North Canton was prepared for a celestial wonder: the total solar eclipse. The city of North Canton was right in the eclipse’s pathway. A total solar eclipse occurs when our moon progresses between the earth and sun, allowing it to completely block sight of the sun’s surface. Totality occurred from 3:08 p.m. to 3:19 p.m., depending on one’s location — making Ohio a hot spot for many new visitors.
Mrs. Jessica Haines, a physics teacher at Hoover High School, gave some insight on what we can expect to see.

“You should begin to see a little darkening of the day a couple of hours before the actual eclipse. It will begin to get very dark as if it were nightfall when the eclipse begins,” she said. “When the moon is fully in front of the sun, you will be able to see the sun’s corona. The temperature of the air will drop a bit and some night time animals or insects may be confused enough to begin chirping.”

In honor of the eclipse and all that comes with it, the Stark County Eclipse Planning Taskforce has been working to keep citizens knowledgeable and safe during this time. According to the Stark County Taskforce, this event is truly once in a lifetime for many who are prepared to watch it.

“The next solar eclipse that can be seen in North America will be in 2044,” they said. “The next solar eclipse visible in Ohio will be on Sept. 12, 2444.”

With such rarity, it is no surprise that the population of Stark County during this event is predicted to leap from 374,853 to 749,706 people.

“There will definitely be eclipse chasers in the area,” Haines said. “Just being safe and aware is important. I do think it is safest to not be traveling during the actual eclipse, so be sure to find a place to park and enjoy safely.”

The eclipse will not just affect the area of Stark County, but also its public schools. North Canton City Schools were amongst some of the schools to close their doors on April 8. NCCS Superintendent Mr. Jeff Wendorf spoke about the reason for closing the schools and labeling it as a calamity day; he gave several deciding factors.

“It’s [the eclipse] scheduled to be at about release time for middle school and high school students, so there’s a safety factor of having students not in a classroom type setting,” he said. “Secondly was athletic practices and events. If kids are outside practicing, we’ve gotta be careful about that. And then also with communication with safety services.”

The safety of students during the eclipse is not the only thing many officials are worried about. Increased traffic, travel, and hospital visits are all being predicted. The Stark County Taskforce has some predicted impacts of their own.

“Extreme demand for gas stations, hotels, campsites, restaurants, entertainment facilities, parks, etc,” they said.

Additionally, the physical eclipse itself can cause harm if a person is not wearing the proper protective eye wear.

“No one should ever look at the sun, and doing so can damage your eyes. It is especially important during an eclipse because the cause for looking at the sun is so relevant,” they said.

Despite all of the predicted chaos the 2024 total solar eclipse may bring, it is vital that people are able to enjoy it. With a once-in-a-lifetime event like this, it is a memorable experience for families and individuals alike.

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About the Contributor
April St. Clair
April St. Clair, Entertainment Editor
My name is April and this is my first year being in staff! This year I am a senior and am involved in many clubs at Hoover. You’ll mostly see me working in the art department or in Leadership Interact club. I’m looking forward to a great year in staff!