Wilmette, Community

Locals energized by solar phenomenon

What a beautiful day for dark.

The clear sky and T-shirt weather gave North Shore folks an ideal setting Monday afternoon to safely catch a glimpse of the daylight dimming caused by a rare solar eclipse.

Ford Parker with his solar glasses for the eclipse on Monday in Wilmette.

Like a few dozen of their neighbors, Steph Rogers and Eve Williams found their way to the Wilmette Public Library to enjoy the phenomenon.

“It may be the last eclipse I get to see,” Williams said. “It is exciting to see one.”

The solar event — in which the moon’s orbit passed between Earth and the sun — began around 12:50 p.m. in Wilmette and reached its local crescendo of 94 percent totality at 2:07 p.m.

Debbie Crowley was one of dozens of locals at the Wilmette library Monday.

Neighbors casually viewed the eclipse while chatting up fellow onlookers, some laying on the ground, lining the sidewalk and some shielding themselves safely behind the library’s marquee sign.

Camelia Ho, 84, brought two homemade pinhole cameras, which allow for safe viewing of eclipses by allowing light to come through a tiny opening and project onto the opposite side of the contraption.

Camelia Ho shows off her homemade pinhole camera for safe eclipse viewing.

For her project, Ho used an empty cereal box for the main component and two toilet paper rolls for viewing. She said she missed the 2017 eclipse because she did not have solar glasses and was ready and waiting for this one, which she called “the best one yet.”

Thirty-two million people across the United States, including southern Illinois and central Indiana, were in the path of totality, which is the track of the moon’s shadow across Earth.

Ben Belkind, of Wilmette, tries to safely get a photo of the eclipse using his phone.

The next total solar eclipse that can be seen from the U.S. won’t be until August 2044. 

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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