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Sights and sounds from the partial eclipse in Missouri

A collage of eclipse viewers across Missouri. The top left photo shows a family laying on a blue blanket. The bottom left photo shows people laying at Lowry Mall. The bottom center photo shows a father and son preparing to view the eclipse through a telescope. The top right photo shows a photo of a total solar eclipse. The bottom right photo people looking up at the sun at Lowry Mall.
Bailey Stover and Nikki Baerson
People could view the total eclipse in places like Poplar Bluff and Carbondale, Illinois.

Students, families and Columbia locals gathered on Lowry Mall at the University of Missouri yesterday to view the eclipse. Both Lowry and Francis Quadrangle served as spacious viewing spots for the event, and the University’s physics and astronomy department invited their own crowds with the chance to view the eclipse through a telescope.

A few hours southeast, people gathered at the Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson, Missouri to view the eclipse in the path of totality.

MU environmental science student Jacob Nieman said the event is “a once in a lifetime opportunity.” He watched the eclipse at Lowry Mall.

“I was lucky enough to see the one in 2017 in the path of totality, but a lot of these people, it's their very first time,” Nieman said. “I was definitely planning on being here, because they were giving away the glasses. They also had telescopes -- you could see sunspots in the telescopes, so that’s not something I got to see in high school.”

MU graduate student Umanda Abeysinghe also came to Lowry with her husband to look at the eclipse through the telescope.

“I'm experiencing this after more than five years, so I'm really excited,” Abeysinghe said.

MU senior Kate Toroxel came to Lowry with her friends.

“I just feel really lucky to see it,” Toroxel said. “I mean, the last time I saw it was in high school. So seeingn it now in college at the end of my college career, especially with studying something like natural resources and parks and rec, I think it's really awesome.”

A postcard from the columns

Monday’s partial eclipse drew hundreds of spectators to the columns on the University of Missouri campus. KBIA’s Dylan Barbee spoke to the people staring up at the sky to learn why this year’s eclipse was significant to them – and their families.

MU graduate Rafal Al Yousuf and her son Keinan Salim were two in the crowd gathered to witness the phenomenon.

“It’s considered a unique natural experience in the life,” Al Yousuf said. “It’s not repetitive and so maybe it’s important to see it, this day for memory.”

Al Yousuf kept her own tangible memory, her solar glasses, from the last eclipse to fall over Missouri back in 2017. This souvenir sparked curiosity in her son, Salim.

“I would like to let my son see it because I own this from 2017 (points to solar eclipse glasses) so he always asks me about it and how like my feelings was at that time when I saw the eclipse,” she said. “It’s kind of a promise to me. Whenever it happens again in the life I’m gonna let him see that one using this, my glasses.”

When Al Yousuf asked Salim what he had to say about his first solar eclipse experience, he said his favorite part was when the moon covered the sun, turning the sky black through the solar glasses.

Al Yousuf hopes that this serves as a memory she and her son can share, and one that he will remember for a long time.

“I hope maybe if we can live longer to have another experience again,” she said.

Those, like Al Yosuf and Salim, hoping for another chance to view a total solar eclipse in the U.S. will have to practice patience; the next expected solar eclipse visible from the state of Missouri will be in August of 2044.

Bailey Stover is a multimedia journalist who graduated in May 2024. She is the creator and voice of "Alphabet Soup," which runs weekly on KBIA.
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