San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

SDSU students unite for a rare sky spectacle: A solar eclipse

Astronomy enthusiasts hosted a watch party for students to share a midday celestial wonder
Michelle Armas
Students gaze up at the eclipse through protective eyewear provided by the SDSU Astronomy Department.

On April 8, the air bubbled with excitement around the Mediterranean gardens at San Diego State University as students woke up early — even with some missing their classes — to experience a rare spectacle in the sky: the solar eclipse. 

While San Diego was not in the path of totality — the area where viewers could see the sun fully covered by the moon — that didn’t stop astronomy students and professors from lugging out their telescopes. By hosting a watch party for students, staff and faculty alike came together to enjoy the rare view in one place. 

The SDSU Schwartz Astronomical Society members hosted this viewing party and were excited to share their love for astronomy with many other students. 

“It’s awesome to see SDSU students take an interest in astronomy at a time like this,” said third-year astronomy student, Isaiah Kayle Tallod, the president of the SDSU Schwartz Astronomical Society chapter.

In San Diego, the eclipse peaked at 11:11 a.m., with the moon covering about 60% of the sun. 

Members of the club, as well as astronomy students, gave out eclipse glasses and polarizing binoculars and brought their mounted telescopes to ensure students protected their eyes adequately.  

According to Tallod, the eclipse glasses blocked approximately 95% of the sun’s light, so that people could look right at the blaring light. 

Astronomy professor, Jerry Orosz, delegated the students who lined up to look through his 8-inch reflecting telescope with a “special” polarizer at the top. 

While others came just to enjoy the camaraderie, astronomy students were fascinated. Whether students planned to attend the watch party or just passed through on their way to class, everyone was captivated for a few moments. 

According to NASA, this eclipse differed from the 2017 eclipse for a few reasons. 

Firstly, the path of totality was much wider, meaning the eclipse covered more ground. In 2017, the path of totality ranged from 62-71 miles wide, and this eclipse ranged from 108-122 miles wide.

This eclipse lasted twice as long as the 2017 eclipse. This one was at full capacity for 4 minutes and 28 seconds while the 2017 eclipse was at full capacity for 2 minutes and 42 seconds. 

Landon Mayta, a fourth-year astronomy student, mentioned it’s interesting that the moon can cover the sun even though its sizes are drastically different. 

“Anytime we can see something like this, it gives insight into what’s going on above us so I think it’s really fun,” Mayta said. 



About the Contributor
Michelle Armas
Michelle Armas, Staff Writer
Michelle Armas is a Journalism major with a love for storytelling. She was born in Los Angeles, California, but moved to San Diego when she was 10. She is a News, Arts & Culture, and Opinions writer for The Daily Aztec and enjoys every moment of debuting as a journalist. She is part of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves as the secretary of The National Association of Hispanic Journalists on campus. In the academic year of 2022/23, she co-hosted a radio talk show with two other students where they talked about current events and played their favorite music. With her deep curiosity for the world, Michelle hopes to combine different forms of media to share obscure stories of the world creatively.