Solar eclipse rings in new year

If the high numbers of absent students and faculty didn’t tip the campus community off, the nature of the events hosted all around the university last Monday should have highlighted that the first day of classes for TU students was a bit unusual this year. Not every semester starts with a partial solar eclipse, after all.
The elliptical nature of the moon’s orbit causes solar eclipses to happen much less often on Earth than they would on any other planet. The last time the contiguous US saw a total solar eclipse was in 1979, according to NASA. While unfortunately Tulsa wasn’t in the path of totality, many excited faculty members and interested students took field trips to other parts of the midwest to witness a total solar eclipse.
For those professors and students who stayed in Tulsa, TU celebrated with viewing parties, free eclipse glasses, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and, of course, MoonPies.
TU also generously allowed professors to cancel any class held during the eclipse, though it was not unusual to see various classes outside on the Old U splitting their attention between the sky and their class syllabus. The area right outside of Keplinger Hall might have been the most interesting set up of the day, hosting all sorts of equipment manned by enthusiastic faculty and eager students.
While an especially exciting start to the school year, classes still march on and North America won’t see another total eclipse until April, 2024. The TU community definitely enjoyed the spectacle for the approximate three hours it lasted, though.

Post Author: Grace McFee

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