BENTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Keystone College officials believe more than 1,000 people filled their observatory Monday afternoon to get a glimpse of Monday’s solar eclipse.
All across northeastern and central Pennsylvania, people went outdoors this afternoon to try and get a glimpse of the solar eclipse.
While many people planned ahead and were able to get special glasses, many others were out of luck.
That made public events extremely popular.
The crowds came early and came with a mission to the Keystone College observatory in Benton Township.
More than 1,000 people filling the observatory to stare up into the sky.
“It’s just something cool to see, you don’t see it everyday,” Joe Gagliardi of Hanover Township said.
While some were die-hard astronomy lovers, others were just curious.
Some were young. Other people were young at heart.
“It was so hyped I wanted to check it out. I’ve never seen it so I actually wanted to experience it,” Chrisler Romero, a Keystone College senior said.
In northeastern Pennsylvania, only about 70-percent of the sun was blocked by the moon but it was enough for spectators.
“It definitely felt cooler and it got a little bit darker. It wasn’t dramatic but you could tell the difference for sure!” Arnie Flam of South Abington Township said.
For most people, Monday marked their first eclipse.
That wasn’t the case for Nicholas Shyshuk. His first eclipse was in March 1970.
“I haven’t forgotten all these years. It’s fantastic!” Shyshuk said.
On Courthouse Square in Scranton, it was a much more subdued experience.
Tracy Liberatore and her daughter Amelia were ready with their glasses.
“I just wanted to make sure my daughter didn’t miss it!” Liberatore said.
The Lackawanna County Library System advertised it would have extra glasses available on Monday morning on Courthouse Square.
The 60 pairs didn’t compare to more than 400 people that wanted them.
“We had people poking their heads in the library windows before we were opening this morning, people facebooking and texting me, my mother asked me to get a pair for her and I told her they were locked in a safe!” library district consultant Michele Legate said.
If you missed today’s event, the next total solar eclipse in America will be in 2024 but the next coast-to-coast eclipse won’t be until 2045.