Bay Area residents gather for eclipse events – CBS San Francisco

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More than 1,000 people gathered at the Exploratorium in San Francisco on Monday morning to get special viewing glasses and watch the partial solar eclipse from the rooftops and plazas. 

In the Bay Area, weather was clear and residents were able to see about one-third of the sun blocked by the moon.

The eclipse began about 10:15 a.m. Pacific time and lasted for about two hours. 

A 115-mile wide path of totality, when the sun’s disc was completely covered by the moon, spanned across areas of Mexico, Canada and U.S. states from Texas to Maine.

At the Exploratorium, spectators took advantage of the clear skies on Monday.

“They are off for spring break, and I’m off, so what better way to start the week,” said Nikhil Laud, an administrator with the San Francisco Unified School District.  His daughter Lena, age 10, said she got a lecture in space rocks in school, but she understands the moon is covering the sun.   

When asked how far away the sun is, her little brother Raj, age 5, said it was “about five minutes.” 

“It looks like a bite of the cookie.  We have our glasses on, so then we can see it a little work,” said Raj. 

Meg Ruxton, age 63, remembers seeing a solar eclipse in grade school in  the 1960s, “We made pinhole viewers and watched it in school.”  Her friend Polly Paulsen was excited by a Friday lecture from UC Berkeley Distinguished Professor of Astronomy, Alex Filippenko, “All I can remember is his enthusiasm. He told us we must see it because it won’t happen again until 2044.”

Three galleries live-streamed the event featuring scientists from the Exploratorium, who traveled to Junction, TX and Torreón, Mexico. Hour-long educational programs were presented in English and Spanish.

The Exploratorium was the first museum to webcast eclipse images directly from a telescope 25 years ago and has since partnered with NASA on eclipse expeditions around the world, from Turkey and China to remote Zambia and Micronesia.  

Other viewing events were held Monday at the Chabot Science Center in Oakland and the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley.

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