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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Students, adults take time to observe Monday's phenomenon

Fifth-graders at Jayhawk Elementary School watch the progression of the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. (Photos by Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

The partial solar eclipse on Monday afternoon dimmed the skies across Linn County, but didn’t approach the darkness of a total eclipse experienced by millions in a 100-mile-wide swath that stretched in an arc from southwestern Texas to Vermont.

But as the moon blocked the midday sun’s rays by about 90% in our area, the skies were shaded, shadows were blurred, and those who took the time to stop and observe the rare phenomenon learned or were reminded about the complex nature of our world..

At the Mound City Library, Stan Nolind, right, and Vanessa Oberdorf with sons William and Benjamin, watch the eclipse using shadow boxes made of empty cereal containers.

With the darkest time of the eclipse arriving here a few minutes before 2 p.m., teachers across the county escorted their students outside and, careful to make sure they were safely wearing approved eye protection, used the activity as a learning experience.

At Jayhawk Elementary, Mandy Higgins. left, uses a pair of binoculars rigged with filters to get a closer look at the eclipse while Audrey Randall relies on eclipse glasses.

Jayhawk Elementary third-graders track the progression of the eclipse.

On U.S. Highway 169 as the peak time arrived, at least one vehicle was pulled off on an exit ramp, its driver wearing eye protection and observing the spectacle.

Nicole Girod looks at the partially blocked sun through a telescope with a special filter at the visitors center at the Marais des Cygne National Wildlife Refuge. She and her children, Chloelynn and Adon, observed the eclipse at the refuge.

Experts say that it will be another two decades before a solar eclipse sweeps across the country’s midsection again. By then, the fifth-graders who observed this eclipse will be in their early 30s with children of their own, who will undoubtedly be looking forward to observing their own eclipse.

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