Students gather on Great Lawn to view solar eclipse

Chuy Benitez
Photography teacher Chuy Benitez captured the eclipse on camera using special filters.

Although August 21 was one of the last days of summer, the Great Lawn saw heavy traffic as people came to campus to catch a glimpse of the partial solar eclipse. The eclipse, caused by the moon passing in front of the sun and blocking the view of the sun from the earth, reached its peak view at 1:14 that Monday afternoon. With the next eclipse visible from Houston expected in 2024, students, faculty, alumni and family members alike all gathered to view the rare phenomenon. Astronomy Club sponsor and Physics teacher Daniel Friedman set up a solar telescope, which he used in Astronomy class and during last year’s daytime transit of Mercury. The telescope has a built-in filter, making it safe to look directly at the Sun without eye damage. On a flat screen monitor inside Flores Hall, Friedman set up a livestream from NASA, which played live feeds from telescopes in the path of totality. Friedman also provided a few pinhole viewers and eclipse glasses, both of which are device that protect eyes from the sun, while other attendees brought homemade devices or their own glasses to view the eclipse.