Monday’s total eclipse cut across the entire country, starting in Oregon and ending in South Carolina. Along that path of totality: Carbondale, Illinois. That was also just miles from where the eclipse reached its point of greatest duration.
That remarkable event was witnessed by Lucianne Walkowicz, an astronomer and astrophysicist at the Adler Planetarium and the chair of astrobiology at the Library of Congress.
This was her first experience viewing a total eclipse.
“It was absolutely phenomenal,” said Walkowicz. “I had read a lot about what to expect, but nothing really replaces being there for the true event. It was particularly dramatic because we had some patchy clouds and, in particular, one big cloud that almost ruined it for everyone. So, being there at Saluki Stadium with 20,000 people screaming and cheering, and trying to move that cloud with their collective will was pretty amazing. And it did actually open up.”
Aug. 21: What did you see during the historic event? Add your images to our stellar online gallery.
Aug. 21: Over the course of civilization, eclipses have been met with fear and superstition. How humans have reacted to—and explained—eclipses throughout history.