Posted April 10, 2024

Thousands gathered on Temple’s campus to witness the solar eclipse

The College of Science and Technology’s viewing event attracted students, faculty and staff, as well as our neighbors and members of the media, to witness the rare spectacle.

Image of students wearing eclipse glasses to view the April 8 solar eclipse.
Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito
Despite some light cloud coverage, thousands of people packed Beury Beach to witness the April 8 solar eclipse.

North America saw massive groups gather to witness the April 8 solar eclipse, which was the first major solar eclipse visible from the Philadelphia region since 2017. One such gathering took place right here in North Philadelphia, on Temple’s Main Campus, where eclipse coverage reached 90% totality. 

The College of Science and Technology (CST) hosted a viewing event for the occasion, which featured solar telescopes, free eclipse glasses, a countdown timer to peak eclipse coverage and a livestream capturing the excitement. 

Thousands of visitors, both members of Temple community and our neighbors, gathered on campus to celebrate the eclipse. Food truck lines were packed, cameras were out, and crowd applause roared through campus as the sun—and the moon—peeked through the afternoon clouds. 

More than 1,500 eclipse glasses were distributed, which crowd members used to safely view the spectacle. CST faculty also set up solar telescopes, which are designed specifically for viewing the sun. Feeds from the telescopes were captured and shared via livestream. A recording of the livestream can be viewed on YouTube

Reporters from The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Temple News were on campus to cover the viewing party, as was a camera crew from CBS3 Philadelphia. CBS also tapped into CST’s livestream of the eclipse, which the station broadcasted throughout the afternoon

Faculty from around the university were spotted in the crowd, including College of Science and Technology Dean Miguel Mostafá, Department of Physics Chair Maria Iavarone and Department of Physics Vice Chair Martha Constantinou. Temple’s very own eclipse expert Matthew Newby was also in attendance answering questions about the celestial phenomenon. Physics Professor John Noel provided technical support, and CST staff Scott Avery and Connor McVail provided digital support and ran the livestream. 

Despite a few clouds in the sky, the crowd made the most of the event, and with good reason. The next time Philadelphia will see a solar eclipse with 90% coverage won’t happen until May 11, 2078. 

Image of Beury Beach packed with visitors for the April 8 solar eclipse.

More than 1,500 eclipse glasses were distributed to visitors at the April 8 solar eclipse viewing party. (Photography by Joseph V. Labolito)