Clouds dampen eclipse for local viewers


Sophia and Vincent Dan, of Big Lake, try to penetrate the cloud cover to see some of the highly anticipated solar eclipse, Monday, August 21. Minnesota was not in the path of totality, but still fell under the sun’s shadow, which meant viewers lucky enough to be under clear skies saw about 80 percent of the eclipse. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

Across the country people turned their heads heavenward Monday, August 21, for a glimpse of a rare spectacle, a solar eclipse, but in Maple Lake and the surrounding communities, spectators saw more clouds than celestial phenomena.
A partly sunny sky earlier turned to overcast and stormy as 1:05 p.m. approached, the time when it was thought the sun would be most obscured by the moon. While the rain was gracious enough to slow to a drizzle when the big moment finally arrived, only a slightly darker hue of gray sky gave any indication to the show happening above the cloud cover.
According to the Minnesota Astronomical Society, Monday’s eclipse was the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States since 1991 (which was seen only from part of Hawaii), and the first visible from the contiguous United States since 1979, but it passed through only five states.

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