Hundreds Gather For Solar Eclipse In Twin Ports

People Wait To Sneak A Peek At Solar Phenomenon

Danielle Kaeding/WPR

Hundreds of people gathered at events Monday in the Twin Ports to view the solar eclipse that cut across most of the continental U.S. Despite cloudy skies, many waited outside to sneak a peek of the solar phenomenon.

In Duluth, Superior’s Brittany Huray waited in line with her kids at the Duluth Public Library for solar viewing glasses. Huray said she really wanted her family to see this once in a lifetime event.

“I feel bad for everyone waiting in line because I don’t think we’re going to see what we were hoping to see,” she said. “But, it’s still worth it.”

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The library had 1,000 solar viewing glasses for the event, and all of them were used to see the partial solar eclipse that took over people’s attention Monday afternoon. People quickly traded them back and forth for a momentary view of an event that comes around once in a blue moon.

A total solar eclipse swept across part of the United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse could be seen across the rest of North American. The next total solar eclipse will be visible in northern Wisconsin in 2099.

Laura Westerman of Slinger, Wisconsin, was just beginning a week-long vacation with her family and sister in Duluth. Westerman said they left home at 6 a.m. Monday to make it to Duluth in time to see the eclipse.

The Diamond Ring effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the United States. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent. Aubrey Gemignani/NASA

“When we looked at the forecast, we hoped for more sun here than was in the Milwaukee area.” She looked skyward and laughed, “Apparently not.”

Westerman’s grand-niece, 8-year-old Sophia Jansen of New Brighton, Minnesota, said she was a little disappointed in the weather.

“I’m a little bit glad because it won’t be that bright so it won’t burn my eyes,” Sophia said.

Despite gray skies looming overhead, the clouds broke long enough for 12-year-old Alex Campbell of Bethesda, Maryland, to catch a glimpse with his parents.

“Yeah, I see it! I see it!” he said, peering skyward.

Alex’s mother Ellen Gadbois said the eclipse should serve as a reminder of how important it is to invest in the exploration of the world beyond.

“Just think if NASA wasn’t there,” she said. “What a shame that would be.”

Heidi Harrison, youth services technician for the library, said they viewed the event as a great way to educate kids about science, STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — “and how exciting space is, and we just really wanted to take that opportunity,” she said.

Sophia’s 11 year-old sister Natalie Jansen said science is something that has always sparked her interest.

“I did a science Olympia thing this year about science, stars and outer space and stuff,” she said. “I think it’s really cool that I can be here right now.”