Eclipse at the Observatory

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BENTON TOWNSHIP -- The gates to the Keystone College Observatory near Fleetville were supposed to open at 1 p.m., but when a large crowd of anxious eclipse viewers started showing up by 11 a.m., college officials decided to let the party start a little early.

"Because my parents saw it 37 years ago, and so I thought it was going to be cool," said Logan Bohn of Dalton.

While Logan Bohn got to experience his first eclipse with his mom, Mark Perucki of Lake Sheridan left work early and took his two sons out of preschool so they could be at the observatory for their first eclipse.

"It's just cool to bring the boys out and spend some time with them so they could experience it too," Perucki said.

The Observatory offered a few different options for viewing the eclipse. Video of the path of totality across the country was being live streamed inside the air-conditioned classroom. Others a little bit more serious about celestial events stayed outside and even brought their own telescopes for viewing.

"This is probably my fourth year doing this, so I'm new at the whole astronomy thing so it's a lot of fun," Chris Hall of Clarks Summit said.

Hall is a teacher at Clarks Summit Elementary School. He brought three of his telescopes with solar filters, but the educator inside him could not help but spread some knowledge at the same time.

"We teach the sun and the moon and the stars at school so it's a lot of fun to show the kids at school this stuff too," Hall said.

For those who did not quite have the equipment of solar filtered telescopes, college officials had 280 of the impossibly-hard-to-come-by solar eclipse glasses ready to give out for free. With an estimated 1,000 people showing up, some had to get creative, and with a bright sunny sky all afternoon, any of the alternative options worked just fine.

"I waited last minute to find the eclipse glasses, and obviously they're all sold out, so I figured, go on the shelf, grab the welding helmet and the other glasses we have and it's working out perfect," Perucki said.

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