Hard to eclipse an eclipse

Staff photo by Fritz Busch From left, before the clouds and rain came, Jase and Todd Christiansen and Terry Sveine all of New Ulm view the solar eclipse with ISO certified sunglasses behind the New Ulm Wellness Collective, 15 S. Minnesota St. Monday.

NEW ULM — Local viewers were able to see early parts of the solar eclipse late Monday morning.

The New Ulm Wellness Collective, 15 S. Minnesota St., provided viewers with ISO certified solar eclipse glasses, folding chairs and 60’s music on a newly-paved area behind the business. Viewers included Jase and Todd Christiansen and Terry Sveine, all of New Ulm.

“I did this when I was a Mankato State University (MSU) student in 1979,” Sveine said. “I saw it using a pin hole on campus, like a lot of other students did.”

Todd Christiansen said he could faintly see the eclipse through the glasses before the sky darkened with heavier clouds and light rain began to fall at about 11:50 a.m.

“I remember seeing a solar eclipse using a tiny hole and paper plates in elementary school,” Christiansen said.

Just about the time the eclipse darkened sunlight the most, a strong thunderstorm was located over Klossner at 1:04 p.m. Monday, moving east at 50 mph. Wind gusts were reported up to 50 mph, with heavy rain and nickel-size hail forecast in the storm, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Heavy rain fell in and around New Ulm at times. By late Monday afternoon, about two inches of rain or more fell south of Gibbon and Fairfax, in the eastern edge of Sibley County and just east of Mankato, according to the NWS. The clouds and rain dropped the temperature nearly 10 degrees.

Meanwhile, millions of people watched the eclipse with interest, using telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses as the moon covered the sun for the first time across the country in nearly 100 years.

The next solar eclipse that will be visible in the continental U.S. will happen April 8, 2024. The path of the shadow will rise north from Mexico, through Texas, later to New York and into Canada.

Cities in the path of total visibility include Austin, Texas; Little Rock, Ark.; Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y. Much of the country will be in range for at least a partial solar eclipse. Cities in the path of a total eclipse this year that will be in it again in 2024 are in southwestern Illinois, southeastern Missouri and southern Kentucky, according to AccuWeather.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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