St. Joseph's University physics class pivots lesson to solar eclipse

Bryanna Gallagher Image
Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Saint Joseph's University physics class focuses on eclipses in Philadelphia region
Saint Joseph's University physics class focuses on eclipses in Philadelphia region

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There was a slight change to one physics class at Saint Joseph's University on Tuesday night.

With the solar eclipse looming, Tuesday's lesson was all about eclipses.

"We're having a big event coming next week, we have a total eclipse of the sun coming through our country and a partial eclipse visible from here on campus," said Deborah Skapik, an adjunct professor at Saint Joseph's University.

A once, possibly even twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity is nearing North America, Skapik told her students.

"How incredibly rare it is to have this alignment happen, how special I should say, and to be in the shadow of it," she explained.

RELATED | Everything you need to enjoy the eclipse safely including solar glasses and more

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun.

"In the path versus out of the path, it's a different experience but everyone gets a great show," Skapik said.

Unless you're traveling to a destination in the path of totality, Philadelphia will see a partial eclipse, meaning the moon will cover up 90% of the sun.

"This is a natural tie-in to show what we're doing in our lab connects to this incredible event coming our way," explained Skapik.

Skapik says she has been talking about the solar eclipse for a while now.

"We've been hearing about the eclipse for a couple of months now since I've been in this class, so April 8 is a big day. I'm excited to experience it myself," explained Jason Abahazy, one of her students.

The prime time to catch the partial eclipse locally is between 3:14 p.m. and 3:40 p.m.

"I often compare it to falling in love for the first time, this thing just happened to me, I can't explain it to others but I want them to experience it too," said Skapik.