Imagining the eclipse



It’s hard to know precisely how many people traveled to the Carbondale, Illinois area to view the total solar eclipse in August 2017; it’s a sure thing they came from all over the United States and Canada. Many of them had never before experienced an eclipse, but on the day before the big celestial show, they could imagine what it might be like.

Marcus and Earnest Coleman, Edwardsville, Ill.

“I've never seen an eclipse before," says Earnest. "I hope it's going to be really dark. I'm excited to see the corona." 

Dustin Steva and Jose Lara, Chicago

“I think the whole transitioning part just all happens in such a short time. You get to
see night come into day, it can move so fast," Dustin says.

Karen Pamela, Prospect, Pa.

“If I get something good I’ll be happy. If not, I got here, I experienced
it, and I saw it with my own eyes and that’s what matters to me.”

Jeff Worman, Elkhorn, Wis.

“I’m hoping that I’ll be able to hear the animals, the insects, the birds, all that change;
going in to night mode. And then waking up.”

Scott McLain, Chicago

“I just think it’ll be a great experience to just to see darkness in the middle of the day."

Bob Campbell, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada

“I’m just going to enjoy the experience. Too many people try to photograph it and they lose the moment. I want to watch for those shadow bands, those mysterious shadow bands you’ve heard about. That happens just a fraction of a second prior to and after. I want to see the diamond ring, Bailey’s beads, all those things."

Glenn Hamilton, Black Mountain, NC

“I’ve talked to people who have seen total eclipses before and their impression is ‘I have to see another one.’ I hope I’m not building it up too much in my mind but the fact that I have friends who have seen it and their urge is not to say, well I’m going to cross that off the list of cool things they’ve done. They’re more fevered about it than people who haven’t seen it. So that tells me something right there. Being able to look directly at the sun and seeing nothing but a hole in the sky, that should be pretty amazing."

Roy Hollar, Jonesboro, Ill.

“It's going to be a pretty cool thing."

Ashley, Axton and Alex Fitch, Chicago

“I’m pretty excited for the moment when it gets really dark and you can just see the
ring around the sun. I think it’s going to be really surreal,” says Ashley.

Cecil Bailey, St. Louis, Mo., formerly of Makanda, Ill.

“I’m interested to see if the sun comes out all. It would be very fitting to have an imperfect eclipse here and have everybody have such a wonderful time and not even mind, it’s that kind of place. Makanda can inspire a very easy-going mood.”

Josh Kalscheur, Madison, Wis.

“I hope to have a very quiet, solemn experience. But I’m open to whatever experience reveals itself. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Natalie Payne, Boulder, Co.

“I’ve been waiting for it for two years now. What do I think it will feel like? Sort of
like tripping, I suppose. I’m going to be tripping while watching the eclipse.
So I feel like I’m going to be very content and fully in awe.”