On the first day of the 2017 fall semester, students and faculty at Illinois Central College gathered in massive groups to get a glimpse of the partial solar eclipse. The event was particularly exciting due to the sheer unpredictability of Central Illinois weather; the day began with overcast skies and thunderstorms, which completely blocked the sun up until the eclipse was about to become visible from East Peoria.
Around noon on Monday August 21st, the courtyards and sidewalks of ICC’s main campus served as a viewing area for the rare astronomical event. As advised by news sources, people were sure to wear special sunglasses to avoid the damage a solar eclipse can inflict upon one’s eyes. “I’m kind of scared,” joked Rachel Klein, Metamora, even though she was wearing glasses herself. Due to a nationwide rush to purchase protective eyewear, some shared their own sunglasses with friends and fellow students.
Science major Rachel Burrell spoke about how significant the experience was, adding that she “had never seen anything like it.” Individuals on campus took some time in between classes to admire the sliver of sunshine hidden behind the moon, and it even drove professors to bring students outside to witness it firsthand. Unfortunately for those who missed the events on Monday, the next total solar eclipse won’t take place in North America until April of 2024.