Skies were not clear and blue on Monday afternoon for the total solar eclipse, but Franklin County residents were still determined to witness the phenomena.
Sisters-in-law Ashlyn and Deborah Brown of Ottawa said they’re both astronomy lovers and wanted to experience it either way.
“It was a little disappointing, but I feel like we still got to see some of the cool transitions,” Deborah Brown said.
Ashlyn Brown added that she wanted to join in on the unique event and that she’d never “seen anything like it before.” The eclipse was the first one visible in the United States since 1979, according to TIME magazine, and traveled at around 2,400 miles per hour. It was also the first total solar eclipse to travel coast-to-coast in the U.S. since 1918.
In Ottawa, the eclipse began around 11:40 a.m. Monday and ended around 2:30 p.m. The height of the eclipse in the area — when the moon was covering about 97 percent of the sun — was around 1:07 p.m. Further north in the state, the path of totality could be viewed in Brown County, extending through Marshall County into Johnson County.
“I remember when I was a kid...in grade school, there was a partial eclipse and we got to go outside and watch it,” Deborah Brown said. “This brought back some good childhood memories.”
But the poor weather did deter some.
“I looked at the sky and thought, ‘It’s too cloudy, and I’m not going to get a good view of it from Ottawa anyways,’” Clayton Oberg, Ottawa University junior, said.
Some of the college students at OU gathered to watch the event at People’s Bank Field on the campus, 1001 S. Cedar Street. Jamaal Sayles, senior, said he had anticipated clearer skies.
“It was kind of anticlimactic,” he said. “However, it did get dark enough to where the street lights came on.”
Others made the most of the cloud-mottled experience.
“Regardless of not having a good view of the actual eclipse happening, it was still really cool to experience,” Nick Penichet, OU junior, said. “It was like 8 or 9 o’clock-dark at 1 p.m. That was cool. Also, the fact that it was a once in a lifetime-type experience — you don’t want to miss it. It wasn’t a complete letdown, for me.”
For more eclipse photos, see Page 5.