Looking up: The solar eclipse experience



Before totality: Madison Messenger photographer Jeff Pfeil shot this series of photos of the eclipse from his home in West Jefferson.

(Posted April 9, 2024)

Madison County residents experienced the April 8 solar eclipse from a wide variety of vantage points. Some held watch parties from their own backyards. Others gathered at public viewing events. Some took a break from work to poke their heads outside for a glimpse. Depending on their location in the county, viewers saw either a partial or total eclipse.

At totality

With a total solar eclipse, the moon appears to totally obscure the sun. The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806. The next total solar eclipse in Ohio won’t happen until 2099.

After totality

Note: The village of Plain City is collecting solar eclipse glasses to be recycled. Glasses can be dropped in the collection bin in the lobby of the administration building, 800 Village Blvd., Plain City, through April 30.

Mt. Sterling Public Library, 60 W. Columbus St., also is collecting gently used and unused solar eclipse glasses through April 18. The glasses will be sent to Latin American school children so they can safely view the eclipse in their hemisphere. This is made possible through SWACO and Solar Eclipse USA.

The following were photos taken around the county.

The sky darkens as the eclipse nears totality on the afternoon of April 8. Looking on are individuals who attended an eclipse viewing party hosted by the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities in London.
Sporting fun eclipse-themed t-shirts are sisters Paula Manning (left) and Nancy Manning who attended an eclipse viewing party hosted by the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities in London.
Dressed as a taco, Miguel Sierra takes a break from his taco truck duties to check out the eclipse. Sierra set up shop at the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities eclipse viewing party. He and his wife, Margie, are co-owners of the M&M taco truck and M&M Diner in London.
Mt. Sterling EyeCare hosted an eclipse viewing party at Mason Park in Mount Sterling. Approximately 150 people showed up to not only enjoy the eclipse but also fun refreshments, including moon pies, Sun Chips, and Sunny Delight. Mt. Sterling EyeCare staff members in attendance included: (from left) Amy Curry, Marcie Martin, Terressa Stires, Marah Martindill, and Barbara Brown.
West Jefferson Police Department personnel don the proper eyewear for the once-in-a-generation experience of a total solar eclipse passing through Ohio: (from left) Darryl Yoder, a retired West Jefferson police officer who now serves as an auxiliary volunteer officer; Officer Richard Liddil, second shift watch; and Officer Shaun Soward, first shift watch.
The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) supplied the city of London with Learning Lunchboxes packed with science experiments and eclipse viewing glasses. On April 3, city representatives delivered the kits to London Elementary School second-graders, Fairhaven Head Start students, St. Patrick School students, and Mac-a-Cheek South students. Additional boxes were available to the public for pickup at city hall. Shown unloading the kits are: (from left) Adam Smith, assistant parks and recreation director; Darin Young, street department foreman; Mayor Patrick Closser; and Landon McKenzie, parks and recreation director.
Under advisement from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, first responders in counties in the path of the eclipse prepared for an influx of visitors and any incidents that might come with that influx. The Madison County Emergency Management Agency set up an Emergency Operations Center at the agency’s office in London. Twenty-three first responders staffed the EOC from 12 to 5 p.m. the day of the eclipse. Deb Sims, Madison County EMA director, said the center received no reports of incidents and no requests for assistance. The team used the time to conduct training exercises. Here, Evan Golden (far right) with the Jefferson Township Fire Department serves as incident commander for a training scenario involving a bleacher collapse at a public event. The team also conducted a tornado scenario training.


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