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Solar eclipse captivates Science Museum Oklahoma skywatchers

Carita Jordan Howard / Red Dirt Report
Adriana Hollis checks out Monday's Solar Eclipse of 2017 at Science Museum Oklahoma.
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Hundreds stood in line for a cardboard pinhole box at the Science Museum Oklahoma just to have a glimpse of the sun and moon dance in the upper atmosphere.

“Stand back and let the sun come in at an angle through the pinhole,” explained Science Museum employee, Sarah Shaefer, to one of many waiting to secure a pinhole box used as an alternative viewing tool for the total eclipse on Monday.

Pinhole boxes were on high demand at Science Museum Oklahoma as the sky slowly grew darker.

“We’ve anticipated about 200 to 300 (pinhole) boxes needed for this event,” she said. “I hope we have enough.”

A solar eclipse occur every 18 months, but never in the same place. According to this story, the next eclipse will happen on July 2, 2019 in the southern Pacific before it passes through Chile and Argentina.

The United States sky watchers will not see another solar eclipse until year 2024.

Like many others who waited too late to purchase certified solar eclipse glasses, Katy Gray of Oklahoma City, had to endure the pinhole box line at the museum.

Fond memories of viewing the eclipse with her grandmother as child, she is now able to share the experience with her family.

“My (grandmother) use to make pinhole boxes when I was a kid,” Gray exclaimed. “I looked everywhere, there aren’t anymore (eclipse) glasses anywhere.”

Meanwhile, Adriana Hollis’ family planned ahead and purchased eclipse glasses several weeks in advance.

For those who weren’t interested in a pinhole nor had a pair of eclipse glasses, the museum’s several telescopes were on display for viewers.

The telescopes were setup with solar filter that allowed viewers to place their cellular phone to the telescope lens, said Waylon Troyer, an employee of the Science Museum Oklahoma.

Not matter what line viewers stood in, they weren’t disappointed. The sky grew darker, the atmosphere seemed still as the celestial phenomenon took place.

“I can see it,” Hollis said about the eclipse at about noon. “It looks like a chunk is taken out of the sun.”

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Carita Jordan Howard

Carita is an award winning journalist that has lived in Oklahoma for the last five years and is...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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