Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Viewing the total solar eclipse

Lauren Hernandez

On April 8, UTSA will stand in the moon’s shadow for two minutes and 25 seconds. The moon will be the exact size as the sun, casting a shadow that covers 135,678 miles. Solar eclipses happen twice a year at most, with the next time that San Antonio will be in the path of an eclipse being in 2044. Join the Paisano in learning more about the total solar eclipse and how UTSA is preparing for it. 

With UTSA’s Main Campus being in the path of totality, the university has decided to recognize the “significance of this astronomical occurrence” and suspend all classes that occur between noon and 2 p.m.

“We want to provide everyone with the opportunity to witness and learn from this natural phenomenon when the moon will position itself between earth and the sun, casting a shadow on our planet,” President Taylor Eighmy said. 

Students will have the ability to pick up a free pair of solar spectacles at the Outdoor Learning Environments center outside the Flawn Sciences Building. Students will have the option to view from the recreation field. Dr. Angela Speck will narrate at 12:15 p.m.

The viewing party will begin at 12:15 p.m. and will run until 1:40 p.m. The moon will begin to cover the sun at 1:33 p.m. When the shadow passes over, you can remove your eclipse glasses for a brief period to view the Sun’s corona, a ring of light surrounding the Moon. We can expect to see the brush strokes of solar winds and arching flares erupting from the surface. If you are not in the path of totality the eclipse will not look the same. The corona will not be visible and solar glasses must stay on to avoid damage from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

Katie Blackman

San Antonio’s local wildlife observers will be using microphones tuned to low frequencies, listening for changes in behavior in insects and other small animals during the eclipse. UTSA eclipse project manager Dr. Lindsay Fuller collaborates with parks in the San Antonio area as part of the soundscape project funded by NASA. 

Dr. Fuller oversees the distribution of LightSound devices for the visually impaired. Anyone with visual impairment can enjoy the eclipse with the power of sound. When light hits the device, a sensor sends a signal to the listener’s headphones to create a tone that corresponds to the intensity of the ambient light. Students assembled and distributed these devices to organizations around San Antonio so that more people could enjoy this special event.

All parks in the path of totality are taking extra precautions due to the traffic when traveling to these zones to catch a glimpse of this celestial showdown. Lost Maples and Enchanted Rock provide great vantage points because they are closer to the center of the shadow. Viewers can expect to be in darkness for up to four minutes.

To read more about the eclipse, visit UTSA’s 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Campus Viewing Party website

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About the Contributors
Ruben Solis
Ruben Solis, Graphic Artist
Ruben Santiago Solis (He/Him) is a Junior at UTSA Majoring in finance. It is his second year with the Paisano and his first as a staff member. Contributing for graphics comes naturally to him due to his background in design. Before graduating he plans on working for the City of San Antonio’s historical preservation department.  On summer days you can find him on the water with a fishing rod in one hand and a book in the other.
Lauren Hernandez
Lauren Hernandez, Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Lauren (she/her) is a second year English student at UTSA. After graduation she plans on attending law school. Outside of The Paisano you can usually find her at a concert taking pictures, hiking in the woods, watching movies or thrifting with her sister.

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