TJC celebrates total solar eclipse | TJC

TJC celebrates total solar eclipse

At last, Dr. Beau Hartweg can breathe a sigh of relief.

For more than a year, Hartweg and his team at the TJC Earth and Space Science Center have been planning for the April 8 total solar eclipse.
Over the past few weeks, he’s been a familiar face on area media outlets as coverage ramped up and forecasts of cloudy skies threatened to overshadow the big event.
“It wasn’t without some dramatics, but I can proudly say that we experienced a total eclipse of the sun here at TJC,” Hartweg said Monday afternoon. “I was a little bit worried about those clouds — but as has happened several times in the past, the moon’s shadow caused those clouds to dissipate and give us a front-row seat to one of the most beautiful shows on earth.”

Hartweg eclipse day

Dr. Beau Hartweg (right) speaks with a spectator during the TJC Earth and Space Science Center’s total solar eclipse event on Monday, April 8.

“We definitely got a show,” he continued. “We were able to see the diamond ring effect, which is just the last little bit of sun. We were able to see the sun’s corona, which is its outer atmosphere. We could see the sky turn dark and we could see Venus, and we saw the shadow bands on the ground.”
TJC vocational nursing students Tiffany Burnett, of Arp, and Jenna Woodard, of Flint, watched the eclipse from the intramural field with several hundred other students at Spring Fling, an annual festival of food and outdoor games.
“I had been hearing about the eclipse for quite a while, and I didn’t really know what to expect,” Burnett said.
Woodard added, “It got dark and really quiet, and then everyone just cheered when totality happened. It absolutely exceeded all expectations.”

Kendrick Morris

Kendrick Morris, a TJC biology major from Lufkin, takes in Monday’s total solar eclipse on the TJC central campus.

Kendrick Morris, a biology major from Lufkin, was more philosophical.
“It just wows you to see the universe weaken us like this,” Morris said. “It reminds you that there’s something bigger out there. It felt amazing to be in the path of totality and to see the perfect ring. It was just amazing.”
Hartweg said, “We checked almost all of the boxes that we expected from today. We didn’t see was Jupiter and the comet, but that’s OK. Those would’ve just been bonus points, really. We had a great, great day.”

TJC news RSS feed