‘It was fantastic’
Dozens of visitors, including those who had traveled from foreign countries, gathered Monday in downtown Cobden to view a total eclipse of the sun.
The eclipse began at around noon and reached totality at about 1:21 p.m.
Eclipse watchers from England, Denmark, Minnesota, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Indiana joined Cobden residents to view the eclipse.
Some watched the eclipse at the Cobden Community Park. Others watched from vantage points in the downtown Cobden area. The path of the eclipse was across the entire nation.
Colin Godfrey of Hampshire, England, was experiencing his fourth total solar eclipse.
He previously had watched total eclipses in China, Indonesia and Germany.
“This is the best,” he said after the totality phase was witnessed in downtown Cobden. “It was fantastic. It was really lovely.”
Those who gathered in downtown Cobden had a cloud-free view of the complete period of totality, when the sun was at its darkest.
Members of the Rathburn family from Ft. Worth, Texas, watched the eclipse in downtown Cobden.
The family was looking for a place to see the eclipse when the event reached totality and said they ran “right into paradise” when they found a spot in Cobden.
John Barker of Glen Ellyn said he drove to Southern Illinois Sunday night and slept in his car so he could be on hand for the eclipse.
“I wasn’t going to miss it,” Barker said.
Jack and Marcia Schnedler of Little Rock, Ark., were in downtown Cobden to watch the eclipse on the day of their 52nd wedding anniversary.
Visitors who stopped in the downtown Cobden area had an expansive view of the sky above, as well as valuable shade on a hot and humid day when the temperature in Southern Illinois climbed well into the 90s.
An unofficial recording showed that the temperature reached 97 degrees during the time of the eclipse.
During the eclipse, the temperature dropped to 86 degrees.
The eclipse unfolded in a bright blue sky, with white, cotton-ball like clouds making occasional appearances overhead.
From downtown Cobden, the view of the eclipse was interrupted by clouds for only a short time. During the totality, the sky was clear.
When totality arrived, applause and cheers could be heard in downtown Cobden.