Witnessing the first total solar eclipse in almost 100 years

Americans across the country today turned their eyes upward to catch the first total solar eclipse to sweep over US skies in almost 100 years.

The eclipse lasted the longest over parts of Illinois, about two minutes and 38 seconds.

Hundreds of watch parties took place, with approximately 200,000 active viewers spread all over Illinois –the largest concentration in the city of Carbondale.

Some schools in the suburbs, being their first day of the school year, made sure their students stayed indoors to avoid staring directly at the sun.

Fil-Am Lea Famular says she felt she was one with the universe when she witnessed the solar eclipse herself.

“Oh my gosh! Pakiramdam mo parang end of the world. Kasi umaga tapos bigland dumilim. Pero it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience kaya it’s good to experience it,” Famular said. “Magandang experience kasi you’re hands-on. That way, you can tell your kids later on, that they got to see it.”

“It’s really cool. It’s bright and white and it’s moving,” said Cathy Cash. “It was moving, left and right, up and down. It’s really cool. It’s amazing! I was excited to see how it looks!”

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