Local resident travels to S.C. for eclipse

Published 10:42 am Tuesday, August 22, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Even though Chilton County was not in the path of totality for the solar eclipse, some residents traveled to see the phenomenon.

Justin Thomas took two of his sons to his sister’s house in Easley, South Carolina to view the total eclipse.

Easley was one of the parts of the country that could see the total eclipse the longest. Thomas said the moon totally blocked the sun for two minutes and 25 seconds.

“It was actually pretty awesome,” Thomas said. “I wasn’t prepared for just a single ray of the sun just how much light it puts out, and then when the moon went between the earth and the sun, how much it shut everything down. The crickets and everything began chirping just like it was night.”

He said when the moon moved a little to allow in more light, it was amazing how much brighter it was.

Thomas’ sister had received enough eclipse glasses at work for the family to safely view the progression of the eclipse.

His sons Jayden, 8 years old, and Joshua, 6 years old, also enjoyed the experience. Thomas said “seeing how excited they were” was his favorite part of the event.

“It was a surreal experience,” Thomas said. “Watching the gases shooting out from the sun with the moon blocking it was awesome.”

For those who remained in Chilton County, a rare display was still visible as a partial eclipse could be seen. Mary Russo chose the peach tower as her viewing spot. She described it as a “cool experience.”

“The temperature became cooler and felt a cool breeze with no humidity, which is rare in Alabama,” Russo said.

The next eclipse that will be visible in the United States will occur on April 8, 2024. According to the NASA Total Eclipse website, this eclipse will follow a path from Texas to Maine.