The skies darkened and the temperatures dropped as millions of people across the country took to the sky today to observe the “Great American Solar Eclipse”.
Although Erie is not in the path of totality, that didn’t stop people across the area from viewing the partial eclipse. The glasses really did come in handy today to see what people have been waiting for, for nearly 40 years.
The video shows what hundreds of people at Penn State Behrend are able to see at the peak of the Great American Eclipse around 2:30 Monday afternoon.
Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Darren Williams, tells us “we’re seeing about 75% of the sun covered by the moon. So, it is a little bit darker than usual out here, but it’s still broad daylight.”
Williams said Erie saw a significant eclipse in 1994 and the next big one for Erie will be in seven years. We will experience 100% coverage in the next eclipse in 2024. “It’s a cosmic coincidence that that’s going to happen.”
Those who came out to Behrend, put on the glasses and observed the eclipse say it was better than they expected. Erie Resident, Debbie Daley was out today and told us, “I love seeing this kind of thing. I had a telescope when I was a kid. This is just a wonderful thing for me to do.”
The eclipse was interesting to people of all ages, including young Brady Gustafson. Brady shares his big thoughts on the eclipse, saying, “It looks just like a banana. It’s really actually cool. There’s a full solar eclipse that’s coming to Erie is seven years.”
Any eclipse, Williams tells us, is a learning experience for all. “Today, everybody’s a scientist and is enthralled by what’s going on around them.”
Those we spoke with after today are counting down the years until April of 2024, but of course, knowing Erie weather, everyone just hoping for a clear day.