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Northern Illinois University campus community gathers for solar eclipse viewing party

A solar eclipse viewing party was held at Northern Illinois University Monday afternoon where the moon covered more than 90% of the sun.

Emalie Vorgeler is a Time Arts major from Ashton, Illinois.

She joined scores of students and community members outside of the campus observatory. The weather cooperated this year with clear skies.

“I was really excited to see it," Vorgeler said. "I saw [an eclipse] when I was a sophomore in high school and it was really lame. I saw how much we were going to be able to see better this time and I wanted to make it a point to come see. And they were giving out free glasses, so why not? I stuck around and didn’t make the commute back home.”

Cameron Laurent is an NIU sociology major from Chicago. He joined friends on the lawn outside of Davis Hall to watch the partial eclipse.

"I am just really fighting the urge not to just look at it with my bare eyes," Laurent said. "Because every time I want to look, I am like 'Oh, yeah,' and then I am like, 'Oh, no.'"

Amaria Goldsmith is a psychology major from Rockford.

"I thought it was moving slow," Goldsmith said as she watched it happen right over her head. "Now it is like moving with motion. It's going now. It looks pretty cool now."

Abby Byer is a business administration major from Shannon, Illinois.

"I am very fascinated by science, and space, and the sun." Byer said. "I just wanted to come out and see it. I have seen a solar eclipse before, but that was years ago. This is a once in a lifetime thing. It is really close to us and I just really wanted to check it out."

The partial eclipse in northern Illinois reached peak totality at 2:07 p.m.

Kendall George is a senior journalism major at Northern Illinois University.