Carbondale eclipse watch party a success

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"It was one of the most moving experiences I've ever had", he said. She built a viewing box from instructions on the Internet, and she had a pair of eclipse viewing glasses. Strangers shared glasses and helped each other take pictures.

While the total eclipse - when the moon travels between the Earth and Sun and darkens skies by casting a shadow that blots out the Sun - was visible only in a 70-mile-wide band of the country, observers outside the path of totality had to make do with a partial solar eclipse, protecting their eyes with highly sought-after special glasses.

In Carbondale, which fell in a 60- to 70-mile-wide corridor stretching from OR to SC that enjoyed a total eclipse, about 14,000 people, including the governor, packed the Southern Illinois University football stadium for a viewing event that was months in the making.

Clouds appeared about six minutes before the eclipse reached totality and the crowds started cheering them away, said Rae Goldsmith, a school spokeswoman. It includes an arts and crafts fair, a carnival and a science fair, with the US space agency stationed outside the school's Saluki Stadium to broadcast live during the event.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner attended the viewing event.

A cheerleader uses solar viewing glasses before the total solar eclipse at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.

The city of Carbondale, Illinois, fell along the path of totality for about two minutes and forty-five seconds, and celebrated the event with Moonstock, a three-day-long festival that featured headlining act Ozzy Osbourne.

The campus of Southern Illinois University has been transformed into an eclipse-themed entertainment center.

Many visitors said they had trouble finding lodging, with hotels booked up months in advance and Carbondale residents charging hundreds of dollars a night for available rooms at short-term rentals websites such as AirBnB.

The sun is partially obscured during the solar eclipse in Depoe Bay, Oregon. The city's lakefront Adler Planetarium held an eclipse block party.