Thousands of school kids decked out in custom made eclipse shirts and countless people from all over the region filled the bleachers at a packed Houck Stadium on Monday to see the celestial event of the year. Some students came from as far as Risco, Mo. to see the total solar eclipse in Cape Girardeau.
With hours to go before the main event, two high-altitude weather balloons were launched into the stratosphere from the field. The balloons were part of a collaboration between the university and Space Center Houston-Manned Space Flight Education Foundation.
Several telescopes were scattered all over the field with kids lining up to catch a glimpse of the sun. From the stands you could see students rooting for their classmates as groups of kids played eclipse games near the 50 yard line.
As the clock was winding down, people made their way to the field to see the moment they’ve all been waiting for. Within a matter of minutes the bright sky faded into the darkness as totality got closer. By 1:20 p.m., it was showtime and the moon covered the sun for 1 minute and 45 seconds. The swelling of cheers and excitement filled the packed stadium as everyone looked up to see the total solar eclipse.
Here are some of the sounds KRCU captured during the Great American Eclipse.
Rebekah Bogan Alexander and her son Avery James Alexander have been waiting to see the eclipse for two years.
Craig Prost, a Southeast Missouri State University and Notre Dame Regional High School Alum says, this will be his first eclipse. Prost, who's interested in astrophotography spent the day tracking the sun on his laptop that's connected to a camera on a telescope.
Dalton Emery is a student from Risco Elementary School.
Brookelyn Sauceda is a student at the Christian Academy. Tara Young is a fifth grade teacher at the Christian Academy. Young says she's excited for her students.
Dennis Vollink is a local astronomer. Vollink says this will be his first eclipse.
Listen to the Countdown of the eclipse.
School teacher Nan Charleston tells us what it was like during totality.