People share experience of solar eclipse at the MSU Observatory

Posted at 7:26 AM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 08:37:31-04

Applause rang out just before 2:30 on Monday as the eclipse reached its peak at the MSU Observatory and everyone, young and old, took a moment to soak in the sunshine--or lack thereof.

For those that didn't have solar glasses to watch it safely, the observatory had other options, whether it was solar telescopes or even Ritz crackers being used as pinhole devices to project the eclipse!

The observatory offered free solar glasses, but ran out before the event even started because so many people wanted some.

That's where Esther Perez came in.

She went from group to group sharing her glasses to make sure everyone, especially kids, could take a look.

"It makes you feel good to make sure that everyone's getting this," smiles Perez. "The first time they look up it's just amazing. You look at them and there's joy on their face. One kid got there and he just laid back down and stared at it... that says enough right there!"

Every family that Perez lent her glasses to was extremely thankful, especially kids like Gavin Kersey, who had a pretty pragmatic perspective.

"I really don't want to get blinded," he says matter-of-factly.

Fortunately, he had shades to see through thanks to Perez, and she's just excited that so many people got to watch.

"This is an experience of a lifetime," she explains.

Perez hopes Monday's eclipse will inspire kids to get into science and go down a path towards STEM education and careers. That's partially why she was so excited to share her glasses with families.

She says it was too good an opportunity to get children enthused with science.