Students help others experience eclipse

People came to White Rock Lake from all throughout the Metroplex to see the lunar eclipse.
Photo by Jackson Reed

By Devon West

It was a dark and chilly Sunday night. Minus a few weak flashlights, the cold, concrete overlook was illuminated by the full supermoon. The lake gave off a dim reflection of the moon. With the help of three Bishop Lynch High School students (Gregory Little, Jackson Reed and Devon West), visitors to White Rock Lake were able to enjoy the “super blood wolf moon” on a new level. 

The super blood wolf moon is called that for many reasons. According to Fortune.com, it is a supermoon because it will be unusually close to the earth. It is called a wolf moon because it is a full moon in January, and it is called a blood moon due to the lunar eclipse, which gives the moon a blood-red color.

After scouting two other places around the White Rock area, Reed and West decided that the overlook just northeast of the spillway would be a perfect area to see the moon. “We wanted to find an overlook with the least light pollution,” according to West. 

Reed and West finished unpacking their equipment at around 9:15 p.m., which was when the moon was supposed to start dimming. Shortly after, the first group of people came, a family with three young girls. “They arrived shortly after we got there and finished setting up,” according to Reed. Once the group made it to the overlook, Reed and West immediately reached out to them, saying they could use the telescope. “The look on their faces after they saw the moon made me feel like I made someone’s night,” West said. “I was happy we got to give them the experience,” Reed added. 

Reed decided to invite his friend, Gregory Little, to the scene. According to Reed, “Little came at around 10:15 p.m., just before the next groups started to come.” Little brought his own telescope and set it up next to West’s telescope. “Greg helped by stabilizing the view of the telescope,” West said. 

“It was 10:30 p.m. when the next groups started to come in,” Reed explained. The people came from all over the DFW Metroplex. “Some of them claimed to live around here. One person said that she was from Oak Cliff. Another person said she came all the way from Plano just to see the eclipse,” according to West. Reed commented that despite the ability to see the event by the naked eye, they were excited to have the chance to view the moon in the telescope. After people looked through the telescope, the bystanders were eager to be next in line. “At some point, people spontaneously formed a line,” West said. “Everyone was very appreciative, thankful and polite.”  

At around 11:10 p.m., the moon was in full eclipse and glowing red. “It was breathtaking,” according to West. “The lake made a spectacular setting. The stars, the water and the overlook just complemented the moon. It made the moment very memorable. It was different than looking out your bedroom window or in your backyard.” 

Until around 11:30 p.m., the students helped the groups with the equipment. Reed even helped one person with a camera. “I helped focus the lenses of the telescope, adjust its position, and even ended up explaining what made this lunar view so special,” West added. 

After the long, frigid evening, the students (pictured above) were ready to go home. “My hands were so cold that it hurt to put away the camera,” Reed said. However, the students unanimously agreed the whole experience was worth enduring the cold. 

“It was really nice to help everyone out. It was nice to see the moon like that, especially since I’ve never really done something like that before,” Reed added. “My original intent was to see the moon. The experience was much better than I imagined with all the viewers involved. I feel like I provided the community with a service.” 

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