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The Great American Eclipse Partially Strikes Connecticut

Aug 21, 2017

A total solar eclipse crossed the nation coast to coast on Monday. In Connecticut, a partial eclipse was visible, and many people went outside to watch.

Weather conditions in Connecticut were favorable for a viewing, as eclipse-seekers found in Hartford's Elizabeth Park.

Eclipse viewers in Hartford's Elizabeth Park.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Cecil Rivers said even though it wasn’t a total eclipse in West Hartford, his family was still pumped to take in the event. He even built a fancy gizmo to watch.

"It’s a pinhole camera projector," he explained. "Basically, it’s binoculars tied to a tripod. And the idea is that light goes in and it gets transferred onto the paper here so you don’t have to look directly at the light. And then, occasionally, you have to keep adjusting in order to keep tracking the sun."

According to Greg Laughlin, a professor of astronomy at Yale University, just under 70 percent of the sun was covered up by the moon on Monday afternoon.

“The ‘maximum’ is the moment when the largest fraction (68.5 percent) of the Sun is covered,” Laughlin wrote in an e-mail.

Michael Adam-Kearns, a retired music teacher from Eastford, set up a lens on a tripod at UConn's Horsebarn Hill to project the sun's image onto a white piece of paper.

"I think people are enjoying this because it's a larger image and people can enjoy it together as opposed to just singularly looking through the telescope," he said. "Gives a more communal aspect to what's going on here today -- without going blind."

Michael Adam-Kearns, a retired music teacher from Eastford, set up a lens on a tripod to project the sun's image onto a white piece of paper.
Credit Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Rebecca Theriault (immediately behind wheelchair) looks up at the eclipse with her mom on UConn's Horsebarn Hill.
Credit Ryan Caron King / WNPR

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Rebecca Theriault watched the eclipse in the crowd at Horsebarn Hill with her mom. Click above to listen to her describe what she saw.

Brandon Serafino, a Hartford resident, said it’s nice to have everyone talking about something they could agree on. He was passing around viewing glasses.

"It’s nice to see people are unifying over something that’s a little bigger than politics and society," he said. "It’s a nature given thing."

Follow NPR's nationwide coverage of the eclipse:

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Ryan Caron King, Heather Brandon, and Tucker Ives contributed to this post.