Spectators Gather In Arkansas To Observe Rare Solar Eclipse

Aug 21, 2017

Spectators in Little Rock used a variety of tools to safely view the solar eclipse.
Credit David Monteith / KUAR

Even though Arkansas wasn’t in the path of totality for Monday's solar eclipse, people in the state came together at different locations and took joy watching as the moon covered much of the sun.

Phil Stein was among the hundreds who gathered at Riverfront Park in Little Rock at one of several watch parties organized by the Central Arkansas Library System.

"That is wonderful." said Stein, as he looked through special viewing glasses provided by CALS. “I remember I was just a kid and there was a big eclipse back then and my parents told me I would be in my fifties when the next one like this happened and I thought, 'That seems so long,' and now here it is,"

Portions of the United States experienced a full solar eclipse in 1979. Spirits of those in Little Rock did not seem dampened by not being in the path of totality. The moon blocked nearly 90 percent of the sun for viewers in the city.

"Come on, eclipse," said Crystal Mercer who was excited the eclipse coincided with her birthday.

Images of the eclipse could even be viewed by people cupping their hands on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Spectators seemed nearly as fascinated with the variety of devices used to watch the eclipse as the event itself. There were many homemade viewers, including a colander, a pinhole viewer made of tinfoil, as well as a solar telescope.

The United States won’t see another full solar eclipse until April 8, 2024.