For months, people across the United States have been anxiously awaiting Monday and the total solar eclipse that occurred. The total eclipse could be seen from 14 states across the country, including in Iowa, with several events being held in Dallas County alone, including at the Adel, Perry, Van Meter and Waukee libraries.
Viewing the eclipse in Dallas County, proved to be a difficult feat as the rainy and cloudy conditions left the sun completely covered for much of the morning and early afternoon hours.
Jan Hillock of Adel, was inspired to go out to the watch party at the Adel Public Library to see the eclipse by her late husband, who was interested in astronomy.
“I thought it would just be interesting just to come and just to see what it was all about,” Hillock said. “And I’ve seen so much, you know, talking on television and everything… and I’m in walking distance (from the Adel Library), so I thought ‘well, why not?’”
The Adel Library, just like other libraries in the area, provided free glasses required for looking at the eclipse, and even had their second floor patio open for viewing.
“I think this is a neat place, that the library has this facility to offer to the citizens of Adel and provide the glasses,” Hillock said. “I thought that was very beneficial.”
Hillock said that she was not surprised by the rainy conditions after seeing the weather forecast leading up to Monday and actually welcomed the rain with much of Iowa being in a drought this summer.
She, like many others who were at the Library, took a break, hoping to wait out the clouds and the rain, and getting a chance to see the eclipse before it ended. Some went to lunch, but Hillock just went inside the library to look at books while she waited for clearer conditions.
Adrienne St. Clair of Adel attended the watch party at the Adel Library with her 5-year-old daughter, Brenna. The eclipse wasn’t the only thing drawing them to the library.
“We came a little early so she could look at some books, and play with the toys, and make a whole event out of it, spend some time together,” St. Clair said.
She said that there was no special connection or interest in the eclipse, but it was something to experience together. Adrienne said she remembered the last time a total solar eclipse happened.
“I remember, I was older than her, but the last time this happened I was in elementary school, and it was something that stuck with me,” St. Clair said. “We did, out on the playground, the box viewing and everything. So I thought, she’s done in school today, so I’ll maybe have an experience that we can have together.”
The total solar eclipse is a celestial event where the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all of part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. According to www.eclipse2017.nasa.gov, this is the first time in 38 years that a total eclipse could be seen from the continental United States.