Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Kristin Romeo helps son Charlie get a good view at the solar eclipse at a Blooming Prairie Library viewing party on Monday, Aug. 21.

The sun looked like a moon

It was a scene to remember at Blooming Prairie's Central Park on Monday, Aug. 21 with both kids and adults using special cardboard glasses to get a glimpse at a solar eclipse.

Blooming Prairie Librarian Nancy Vaillancourt was busy handing out special, authorized glasses to view the eclipse.

"I have seen nothing quite like it," remarked Vaillancourt about the interest shown in the eclipse. "We  have been getting lots of calls about this event sponsored by the Library," Vaillancourt said.

Vaillancourt ordered 100 pairs of glasses and distributed them one to a family. "Be sure and share your glasses with someone," Vaillancourt told the 150 sky watchers showing up at Central Park.

The glasses were all gone by 12 noon.

The eclipse cut a 70-mile wide path of totality across the United States, when the moon moved between the Earth and the Sun, blocking it for as much as 2 1/2 minutes.

This eclipse was the first coast-to-coast full eclipse since 1918.

Watchers at Central Park began seeing the eclipse at about 11:43 a.m. The Sun was extremely bright as the eclipse began and watchers with glasses could vividly witness the sun turning dark. "It looked like something had taken a bite out of the Sun," said one young watcher.

One young watcher, Jesse Mighee, 9, brought a welder's helmet to view the partial eclipse.

In addition to turning the park into a NASA-like setting, Vaillancourt brought visual aids with pin holes that watchers could use to project an image of the eclipse onto the sidewalk. Jaydon, Peyton and Mason Brown successfully reflected the image through the pin hole.

Vaillancourt and volunteers Kristi Fiebiger and Diane Boullion handed out paper plates to many of the youngsters at the park. The kids then painted the plate black for the Moon and a bright yellow for the Sun.

Roger and Joanne Sorenson were part of the adult contingency at the Park.

Ashley Brown, a ninth grader, made a poster showing how the Moon moves between the sun and the Earth and begins to cover the Sun. 

Following the first point of contact in Oregon, the total eclipse was seen across Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and North and South Carolina. The total eclipse ended near Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. 

"It's awesome to see and fun showing kids how it works," Ashley said.

Siblings Veronica Brown, Peyton Brown and Makenna Brown took turns using the special viewing glasses.

"This is really cool," said third grader Conor Rennie, 8.

Chad Lange, his wife Karen, both of Owatonna, and granddaughter Emilie Wall of Eden Prairie said they heard crickets chirping as they entered the park, indicating that the skyline was getting darker. "We checked in Owatonna to see if they had a special viewing party and discovered they did not but Blooming Prairie did so we came here," said Lange.

The next solar eclipse is anticipated in 2024. See you then.

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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