Eclipse viewers constellate at Greenwood library

A man wears special protective glasses to watch the solar eclipse Aug. 21, 2017, from at the Johnson County Public Library's White River branch in Greenwood, Indiana. (WISH Photo)

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Families in Johnson County had an excellent view of the eclipse Monday, with just a few clouds in the sky throughout the afternoon.

The gathering at the Johnson County Public Library White River branch may have been small compared to other events in metropolitan Indianapolis, but it was one of only a handful of events in the state still giving out glasses hours before the eclipse.

“We set aside some for this program so that the people who came would have some,” said Linda Kilbert, the White River branch manager. “We’ve seen lots of people coming out. We’ve seen the sun thankfully, the weather has cooperated.”

All around the front lawn of the library, children, adults and seniors gathered under tents and in the shade of trees with eyes to the sky watching the moon move across the path of the sun’s rays. To encourage attendance at the library, Kilbert’s team also organized several kids crafts, an eclipse reflection station and a “common eclipse misconception” information sheet.

Charlie Burch, 83, and his wife sat in lawn chairs in front of the library, watching and smiling to each other.

“I think it’s neat,” Burch said, watching the moment of totality around 2:25 pm. “I wanna see it again. It’s a good feeling.”

That moment held universal awe among the spectators. Many noticed as the sky darkened, crickets near the library began chirping and geese in the stream sat down and settled their noses into their feathers.

“I have never seen one before,” said Sydney Kritsch, 10, sitting on a blanket with her grandmother. “We learned about it in science lessons. The sun is 400 times bigger than the moon but it’s also 400 times farther away so they look about the same size.”

Kevin Yurs, a father of two who attended the eclipse viewing, said he hopes his daughter remembers the learning moment as she gets older.

“It’s a great way to get people involved and excited about science,” Yurs said. “We’ll be here for the next one as well.”

“It’s like science in our everyday life right here,” Kilbert agreed.

Scientists predict the next solar eclipse will be in 2024, with Indiana in the path of totality.

“It’s going to be all over Johnson County,” Kilbert said. “It will be the height of what you want to see during the eclipse right here in our backyard. Everyone in the country will be coming to us.”

“I’m looking forward to being around in 2024 to see it again,” Burch added and smiled.

Never miss another Facebook post from WISH-TV