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Sophomore Olivia Hickman is a first year reporter for the Prowler. She joined journalism because she enjoyed Mrs. Holton's English class last year. When she is not at school, Hickman enjoys riding her...


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Solar Eclipse: as viewed by Rockbridge County and Others

Spencer Pfaff
Taken in Oberlin, Ohio during the totality of the Solar Eclipse.

Eclipses happen two to five times every year. While it happens multiple times a year, it usually goes over the ocean causing no one to see it. However, there was a solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 that passed over a large path in North America. A solar eclipse is when the Moon passes in between the Earth and the Sun. The Moon casts a shadow on the Earth. While the last solar eclipse before this one was in 2017, the next totality over the United States will not occur until 2042. 

While Rockbridge County was not in the path of totality, the Sun was 87% covered by the Moon. Many people watched for the partial coverage, but some went to great lengths to see totality. 

One of those people was Tennis coach and Spanish teacher Dr. Scott Youngdahl. He and his wife drove up to a friend’s house in northern Vermont.

He explained his view and how he felt during totality. 

“It was really amazing to experience it in multiple senses: the crickets and frogs started chirping once it got dark; seeing the morning star shine brightly in the middle afternoon, and seeing just the so many different colors of the sky, the mountains, the shadows.”

Another person who traveled to see the Eclipse was Junior Spencer Pfaff.

“I went to Oberlin, Ohio,” said Pfaff. “It was the first time I had ever been in totality. The coolest part about being in totality was how dark it got.”

Not everybody was able to travel to go see totality. While the sun was only 87% covered up in Rockbridge County, it made some very noticeable differences. The earth became much darker, and the temperature dropped. It warmed up pretty soon after, but the partial eclipse was able to still be seen when out of cloud cover. Here at the high school, students and teachers were let out two hours early to view the celestial event. Many residents bought special glasses in advance to view the eclipse safely, even though the eclipse was hidden by some cloud cover. This event was viewed by many residents and was a pretty amazing experience.

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About the Contributors
Samuel Ballstaedt
Samuel Ballstaedt, Reporter
Samuel Ballstaedt is a Junior at Rockbridge County High School. This is his first year being a Reporter for The Prowler. He is a basketball player and plays on the varsity team at RCHS. In his free time he enjoys watching basketball, especially the Runnin’ Utes. Samuel also enjoys watching movies. Some of his favorites include, “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” “Signs,” “Interstellar,” and “Top Gun Maverick.” Samuel is excited to be on The Prowler to learn about Journalism. He also hopes to expand his knowledge and experience in video making. If you are looking for Samuel you can find him either on the basketball court at SVU, eating at Chick-fil-a, or on the golf course at the Lexington Country Club. He looks forward to an amazing year!  
Spencer Pfaff
Spencer Pfaff, Reporter
Spencer Pfaff is a junior at Rockbridge County High School. This is his first year writing for the Prowler. He is an accomplished swimmer, placing sixth and seventh at the Virginia Class 3 State Championship meet in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. He achieved all-district third team in the 50 freestyle. Pfaff is also on the academic team and involved in Model UN. He is also a member of the National Honor Society. During his freetime, Pfaff enjoys watching TV, of which his favorite shows are “The Office”, “Breaking Bad”, and “Arrested Development”. His favorite subject in school is History, so he is currently taking AP US history. 

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