Around Campus

Solar eclipse over Carolina

Thousands of people came to the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

People view a solar eclipse
Visitors to Morehead Planetarium gather to view a solar eclipse on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

With their eyes trained to the sky, thousands of Carolina students, faculty and staff members and community members spread out on blankets, relaxed in lawn chairs and staked out sunny places on campus to watch the solar eclipse.

Solar eclipse glasses were the hottest fashion trend of the day.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center threw a party to celebrate, complete with food trucks, screen-printed eclipse posters and special planetarium shows. The crowd cheered at 2:43 p.m., when the moon blotted out about 93 percent of the sun. UNC-Chapel Hill was not in the path of the total solar eclipse. Temperatures dropped from about 87 degrees to 72 degrees right after the peak of the eclipse in Chapel Hill.

“I’m excited about it because it is something everyone can get excited about,” said UNC-Chapel Hill junior Anna Zhao, who sat near Morehead Planetarium with a friend to take in the experience.

Monday’s eclipse was the first one since 1918 that traveled across the United States.