Looking Up
 

Looking Up

Pomfret celebrates the total solar eclipse.


Often, classmates gather on the lodge's terrace or the hills overlooking the athletic fields to watch some of Pomfret's most iconic sunsets. But it has been ninety-nine years since the School gathered to see a total solar eclipse in almost complete totality in the sky above the Hilltop. 

Students gathered to watch the eclipse during the class block of the day. Many sat on the red Adirondack chairs on the Quad, and some camped out on the OSU terrace. Others took advantage of the beautiful, clear spring day and popped their heads out their westerly-facing windows in the Bricks. Regardless of where they were, they all donned eclipse glasses provided by the Science Department to protect their eyes.

Students watch the eclipse next to The Pomfret Dial.  

The Arts Department organized eclipse-themed snacks, serving Oreos and donut holes. Students also had the chance to create their own eclipse commemorative appeal, spraying bleach onto bowls strategically placed on black T-shirts. The Science Department also had a box pinhole projector and other devices to help users observe the eclipse's progression and unique shadows. 

As the Moon aligned with the Sun, the sky grew dark and the air colder. The Victory Bell was rung at 3:27 p.m. to signal the beginning of the peak of totality in our area — 91.8 percent — and the School gave a cheer as they saw a sliver of an orange crescent Sun through their eclipse glasses. 

Alex Feng '27 captures the eclipse with his smartphone. 

A few minutes later, darkness began to lift, and the temperatures started to warm. The crowd slowly dissipated, heading off to their afternoon activities, buzzing by what they had just witnessed. The celebration continued with the girls varsity tennis team playing Moon versus Sun during practice. That night, the girls in the Bricks watched The Twilight Saga: Eclipse movie while snacking on MoonPies.

Twenty students studying astronomy and physics traveled with Science Teachers Brian Geyer and Josh Lake to the Finger Lakes in an attempt to view the celestial event in peak totality. Unfortunately, their view of the Sun was obstructed by clouds. However, they experienced complete daytime darkness. Hopefully, they will have better luck in 2044 and 2045 when the next solar eclipse is visible from the lower forty-eight states again. "Viewing the solar eclipse in the path of totality is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone should see," said Lake.

Students on the Hilltop should consider themselves lucky. The next time Pomfret is in a total solar eclipse's path totality again will not be until 2079.

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