Friday, June 21, 2024

McMaster University hosts solar eclipse watch party

First Published:

McMaster University hosted a big watch party for Monday’s total solar eclipse, where folks got lucky as thick clouds cleared just in time.

People gathered at the university’s Ron Joyce Stadium. People cheered as it got darker and the excitement only grew larger as totality approached. Until the point of complete darkness.

Thousands of people were cheering in the stands and on the field at Ron Joyce stadium as total darkness arrived for about a minute and half. A moving experience, even for astronomers.

“It’s truly a surprisingly emotional event kind of watching this happen. I’m really glad we got a beautiful break in the cloud to see totality, wonderful little ring of the corona with the beautiful diamond ring effect it was just amazing,” said Rachel Pillsworthy.

And the crowds cheered as the sun came back.

There were fears for much of the time that thick clouds were going to take a lot of the fun out of this event.

“This is the best celestial event that get to witness from earth with our own eyes. It’s a once in a lifetime thing,” said McMaster Planetarium Rob Cockcroft.

WATCH MORE: CHCH News’ 2024 total solar eclipse coverage live at 3 p.m.

Clouds were blocking the sun until shortly before the critical time.

“You could tell people were kind of a little bit low energy because of the but as soon as the sun came out they everyone was super excited,” said Pillsworthy. “The crowd cheering so loud it was great.”

The eclipse-watchers got the break they were hoping for.

“The ring around the sun was very cool. Seeing it get dark so quickly,” said one watcher.

They were surprised at how cold it got when the sun was blocked out, and how the light changed.

“As it slowly gets blocked out the lighting was kind of weird and grey. That really surprised me, it was really cool to see it.”

Many said it was worth the wait.

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