Solar eclipse makes its mark across region

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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A total solar eclipse is a rare thing and one that all of Southside Virginia got to witness on Monday, April 8. It’s going to be a while before another one, as the next eclipse of this type isn’t expected to arrive until August 3, 2044. 

Here in Lunenburg County, that included local schools, where students were given special eclipse sunglasses by the district and allowed to go outside to experience the event. Unlike neighboring districts like Prince Edward, Lunenburg County kept classes going on Monday, with teachers in elementary, middle and high school using the sight in a variety of ways to teach science. It also means that as it stands, Lunenburg County schools will get out earlier than their neighboring counterparts. Prince Edward and Buckingham had to each add a day to their semester in order to take off classes Monday. There was some concern in Prince Edward about how severe the eclipse would be and if it would cause problems for bus drivers. Thankfully across the region, the answer to that question was no. 

Instead, students lined up on sidewalks, sat in the grass and talked with friends while watching the moon cover the sun for a few minutes. Lunenburg teachers said they heard “this is so cool” and similar statements from students throughout the time. Then in turn, they got to answer questions and use those experiences, once the groups headed back into the classroom. 

But for those who missed it, Dispatch reader Ron Card has you covered. Card, a professional photographer in his own right, took multiple pictures of the eclipse at 3 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., as we headed closer and closer to totality.