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Homewood Science Center helps crowds prepare for and view the solar eclipse

There weren’t enough superlatives to describe the solar eclipse on Monday. More than 400 people of all ages were at the Homewood Science Center getting ready for the moon passing in front of the sun around 1:20 p.m.

  From left, Cierra, Ava and Brina Anderson of Homewood 
  watch the progress of the eclipse with special glasses 
  designed to allow safe viewing. The three were among 
  hundreds of people who congregated at the Homewood 
  Science Center on Monday for an eclipse-watching party.

  (Photo by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 

There weren’t enough superlatives to describe the solar eclipse on Monday.
 

More than 400 people of all ages were at the Homewood Science Center getting ready for the moon passing in front of the sun around 1:20 p.m.
 
  Using the masks with safety
  film in the eye holes, two
  girls at the Homewood
  Science Center got a view
  of the eclipse around
  1:20 p.m. on Monday,
  Aug. 21.
(Photo by 
  Marilyn Thomas/H-F 
  Chronicle)
 

Despite cloud cover, people stood with their specialty glasses, handmade science center masks with American Astronomical Society-approved viewing film in the eye slots and thick pieces of colored glass that allowed them to look into the sky and see a solar eclipse.
 

“Oh my gosh! It’s beautiful!” said Courtney Little of Olympia Fields who stood out on Martin Avenue behind the science center, 18022 Dixie Highway.
 
“I thought it was amazing! You didn’t see anything around it, just the sliver of orangey-yellow,” said Ella Matthys of Flossmoor.
 
Jonah Thacker of Flossmoor said, “I saw the moon and then it was like red and kind of orange. It was amazing. It was out in deep space because it was all black.”
 
His brother, Elijah, said the crescent he saw was what he’d normally recognize as a moon but he knew it was the sun. When he looked through the mask he’d made “it was kind of yellow, but it was green when I saw it through the glass” someone shared with him.
 
  Caleb Grimes of Flossmoor
  shows his mom, Tiffany,
  and sister, Phoebe, the
  eclipse informational
  wheel he made during
  their visit to the
  Homewood Science
  Center.
(Photo by 
  Marilyn Thomas/H-F
  Chronicle)
 

When the science center doors opened at 10:30 a.m., families got in line to enter the crafts room to make protective “animal” face masks for kids, pin hole cameras and black box cameras that would allow an image to be captured onto film.
 

As families finished their projects, they made room for the next group.  The line didn’t end until about 12:30 p.m. when the last families hurried to finish their masks or cameras.
 
Meanwhile, older adults found seats in the Michael Wexler Theater to watch a feed of NASA scientists at Eclipse Central report on the goings-on at various locations, such as Idaho Falls, Idaho, Beatrice Neb. and Jefferson City, Mo., that were in the path for a total eclipse.
 
Each time NASA showed the moon moving into place to block the sun, visitors in the viewing area gasped and several were heard to utter “Wow!”
 
As 1 p.m. came, most people went outside to watch as the moon moved into position to give guests in Homewood an 85 percent eclipse.
 
Edie Dobrez, executive director of the science center, called it “an awesome celebration of the eclipse for our community and of science. We like getting people involved in science” and sharing science with a future generation of scientists, she said.
 
“That’s what we’re all about at the Homewood Science Center. It’s a wonderful day for us.”

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