2,000 Amazed Visitors Watch Solar Eclipse At Green Bank Observatory

People all over the country were outside today. If they couldn’t get outside, they were watching live feeds on their computers or phones, just wanting to witness this special moment! In West Virginia at the Green Bank Observatory, we were ready , putting on our glasses, and  waiting to watch the moon align with the sun.

A total eclipse of the sun swept over the United States on Monday. The first time in 23 years.

“Enjoy this thing that only happens so many times in a century. We’re so lucky that today we got this eclipse that’s occurring throughout the entire continental United States, and even though we’re not going to be at totality here, we’re going to be pretty close,” Michael Holstine, the Business Manager of Green Bank Observatory, told us.

Green Bank Observatory had close to 2,000 people come to their Science Center to witness history.

“We were afraid that being as a partial eclipse, not totality, many people wouldn’t come, but they’ve obviously showed up. We anticipated 8 to 12 hundred people, so we ordered 1200 glasses and they are gone,” said Sophie Knudsen, the Education Assistant at Green Bank Observatory.

There were different activities all day long that allowed everyone to see and learn about the eclipse and our solar system.

“On a day like this, you’re going to have a lot of people from all age groups. So we wanted to make sure that we had things for the kids to do, for the older people to enjoy,” continued Holstine.

A 5th grade student visiting for the day told us, “We’ve done quite a bit of crafts. We made bracelets and we did a lot of stuff.”

And as the stars truly aligned to make Monday’s natural phenomenon a once-in a lifetime solar event, hundreds of residents looked up into the sky and shared this experience together.

Gill Boyet, a Slake Fork Resident, said, “There’s a lot of energy and a lot of publicity about the eclipse, but it’s bringing people to the observatory so they could learn about what the Observatory does and all the important research that they do, so I’m glad that they took advantage of that.”

But if you missed it today, will you ever get a chance to see a solar eclipse again?

“Believe it or not, we are so lucky that in 2024, we’re going to have another solar eclipse, this time I think in April,” Holstine happily told us.

So you won’t have to wait an entire century until the next one– just seven years!

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