Total eclipse of our hearts


Eyes swept upward across the heavens Monday to see the Great American Eclipse.

We stepped away from the Lorain County Fair to share the event with sun-gazers at the Herrick Memorial Library in Wellington, where about 100 people gathered for a viewing party.

The eclipse — partial from our vantage point but total in a swath of the country from Oregon to North Carolina — began at 1:06 p.m. in Northeast Ohio, peaked at an 81 percent blockage of the sun at 2:30 p.m., and ended at 3:51 p.m.

In 14 states, the eclipsed totally blocked the sun along a 70-mile wide path with the longest duration of 100 percent coverage lasting two minutes 41 seconds just south of Carbondale, Ill.

“I was really excited my grandkids would get to be with me to watch it,” said Debbie Knapp of Wellington. “They have a week before they go back to school and what a way to end the summer.”

“I’ve never seen something like this before in my life,” said her eight-year-old grandson, Phillip Ihle. “I’m happy to be outside and see something cool.”

Light clouds moved in just as the moon began to move in front of the sun. Luckily, they faded about 15 minutes later.

Nick Blank of the Herrick Memorial Library handed out viewing glasses and walked visitors through using a telescope equipped with a solar filter for safe viewing. Glasses eventually ran out, but the telescope and makeshift pinhole viewers came in quite handy.

“We started putting together plans to have something like this a few months ago,” he said. “There was a program for libraries that provided viewing glasses so we got 150 pairs. We passed out 100 here and 50 at the library’s fair booth.”

Blank prepared a chart to show the eclipse’s path and schedule and also informed visitors of the next visible solar eclipse in America, which will take place April 8, 2024, and totally block out the sun over Wellington for three and a half minutes.

“We’ve gotten calls about this at the library for over two weeks,” he said. “Everyone is out of the eclipse glasses and we didn’t give any away until things started today. They were all gone not even 10 minutes in.”

Lynn Youngblood, a Pittsfield Township Historical Society board member, said eclipse viewing has come a long way since 1979, the last time a total eclipse was visible from the mainland U.S.

“We just did it through a pinhole on the ground back then,” she said. “This is a pretty awesome experience. I had a really good friend who followed the eclipses in an astrology group. She followed them all over the world for over 20 years. Even though it doesn’t happen where you live that often, it happens in other parts of the world much more.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

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Debbie Knapp and her grandchildren, Phillip and Abigail Ihle, take in Monday’s solar eclipse at a viewing party at Wellington village hall.
http://www.thewellingtonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2017/08/web1_IMG_9949.jpgDebbie Knapp and her grandchildren, Phillip and Abigail Ihle, take in Monday’s solar eclipse at a viewing party at Wellington village hall.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise and courtesy photos

Gary Gonzales took this picture through a telescope during the eclipse’s peak.
http://www.thewellingtonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2017/08/web1_eclipse1.jpgGary Gonzales took this picture through a telescope during the eclipse’s peak.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise and courtesy photos

Ethan Sokolowski of Penfield Township takes a peek through Herrick’s telescope.
http://www.thewellingtonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2017/08/web1_IMG_9947.jpgEthan Sokolowski of Penfield Township takes a peek through Herrick’s telescope.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise and courtesy photos

Ian Sowersby tests out a pinhole viewer he constructed out of a cereal box.
http://www.thewellingtonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2017/08/web1_IMG_9955.jpgIan Sowersby tests out a pinhole viewer he constructed out of a cereal box.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise and courtesy photos

Nick Blank of the Herrick Memorial Library shows visitors Monday’s eclipse path compared to one that will occur on April 8, 2024 and completely block out the sun over Wellington.
http://www.thewellingtonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2017/08/web1_IMG_9953.jpgNick Blank of the Herrick Memorial Library shows visitors Monday’s eclipse path compared to one that will occur on April 8, 2024 and completely block out the sun over Wellington.

Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise and courtesy photos

The sun is gradually obscured by the moon, the shadow of which was cast over the United States.
http://www.thewellingtonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2017/08/web1_strip.jpgThe sun is gradually obscured by the moon, the shadow of which was cast over the United States.

Russ Gifford | AIM Media Midwest

By Jonathan Delozier

jdelozier@aimmediamidwest.com