The long-awaited solar eclipse wowed viewers across the country Monday. Here in Colorado Springs -- though not quite in the "path of totality" -- clear blue skies made for great viewing of a 90% partial eclipse, and crowds gathered across the city to catch the spectacle.
The eclipse was scheduled to peak around noon, but by 9 a.m. there was already a line snaking through the parking lot at the Space Foundation Discovery Center. Emily and Christopher Curry drove down from Englewood with their daughter Penelope to take part in the festivities.
"We’re super stoked to watch the eclipse," said Emily, "and to expose our daughter to some awesome science stuff, even though she’s only 9 months old -- start them early, right?"
At the event, visitors could see live feeds of the eclipse from around the country. They could also peek through telescopes with special sun filters, and learn how to build homemade eclipse viewers using paper towel rolls and tin foil.
Across town, at the downtown branch of the Pikes Peak Library District, staff members passed out their last remaining pairs of specially-designed eclipse glasses. Renay Harris-Faison grabbed a pair, and gazed skyward as the moon began to cross the sun, around 10:30 a.m.
"Just a little bit," was all she could see of the eclipse at that point. "[The sun] looks like somebody took a small bite out of it. It’s pretty neat. I like it."
This wasn't Harris-Faison's first eclipse. That distinction goes to the total eclipse of 1979.
"It's like 30 years later, and back then I was, like, 19. So here I am again," she said.
At nearby Colorado College, hundreds of new freshmen took a break from orientation activities to catch a glimpse. Students ate box lunches and attempted to snap photos on their phones using their eclipse glasses as filters. And then, at 11:47am, the eclipse reached its fullest point, with just a fingernail sliver of sun showing through. The quad erupted in cheers.
Freshman Ian Chalmers said he’s already looking forward to the next eclipse.
"I thought it was pretty cool to see the moon eclipse part of the sun, but I was kinda disappointed that I didn’t see a total solar eclipse. Although, I heard there’s supposed to be another one in April, 2024," he said. When asked if he'd be there for the next one, he gave an enthusiastic "yes."
In 2024, the "path of totality" will pass through much of the Midwest and Northeast. In order to catch view of a total eclipse from right here in Colorado Springs, you’ll have to wait until August 12th, 2045.
Editor's note: Colorado College is 91.5 KRCC’s licensee.
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