Georgia Tech students, faculty and visitors peer into the sky at the height of Monday's solar eclipse. ERIC STIRGUS / ESTIRGUS@AJC.COM

Eclipse brings learning opportunities to Georgia’s college campuses

Classes were cut short and delayed at several Georgia’s college and universities Monday as students and faculty gathered on campus in the midday heat to marvel at the solar eclipse.

Tens of thousands of students filled the University of Georgia’s Stanford Stadium to watch the event. The atmosphere was comparable to a Dawgs game.

At Georgia Tech, students, faculty and visitors met on the campus green to see the solar show and, of course, to conduct experiments.

One group of students measured the drop in temperature as the moon danced in front of the sun. Others tested the vision on a board as the sky darkened.

The day was surreal for freshman Amelia Szabo, 18, of Bremen. Monday was the first day of academic day of Szabo’s career at Tech. She agreed to volunteer at the vision board.

“It’s a really good experience and to experience it on my first day on campus is really cool,” she said.

For each student excited by the spectacle, there were many who were disappointed because they didn’t have special eyeglasses to see it. Szabo advise those without glasses to ask others politely to briefly use their glasses. Some watched through telescopes and other devices students created to view the eclipse.

At the height of the eclipse neared, the mood was gloomy among many in crowd at Tech as a cloud covered the sun. Then, the cloud floated away. Applause and shouts of “wow” filtered through the crowd at Tech as they saw the moon nearly completely block the sun.

“It was amazing. I think at one point I started to cry,” said Tessa Di Lorenzo, 10, whose parents, both Tech professors, picked her up early from Morningside Elementary School, to watch the eclipse with her siblings.

Tiffany Clark, who stood nearby, was similarly awestruck.

“I didn’t want to miss this,” said Clark, who graduated from Tech in 2009 with a degree in biology. “I don’t know when I’ll see it again.”

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