SIU Stadium goers mostly miss the eclipse due to clouds - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

SIU Stadium goers mostly miss the eclipse due to clouds

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CARBONDALE -- From early Monday morning, excitement filled Saluki Stadium, but that excitement was replaced with frustration as a cloud lingered over the stadium during totality.

Eclipse enthusiasts said they were thrilled for the chance to view the first total solar eclipse in America this century.

"It's 2:40 minutes of absolute and total emotions," NASA astronomer Sten Odenwald said before the eclipse, not knowing that emotion would be much different than what most people expected. 

As the anticipation started to build, so did the cloud cover until a huge cloud covered the eclipse during totality.

"So the 2:40 we should have seen it, how much did we see?" Odenwald said. "We saw a few seconds."

Odenwald knew early on there was chance this could happen when he spoke to News 3 early Monday morning, and that became a reality for the 15,000 people in the stands at SIU.

Punneet Opal and his sons traveled from Chicago, bypassing major cities, banking on a clear view at the Stadium that did not come. But the Opals said they didn't leave disappointed.

"This is our first eclipse and Carbondale is the center for totality," Opal said. "We were looking also for the weather and we found that Carbondale had better weather than even Missouri."

"It was exciting," Odenwald said. "I'd never seen anything this close to full eclipse in my life."

But Odenwald's already looking ahead. 

"We've got a 50/50 chance and we just blew the bad 50 on this one," he said, "so the next one's going to be a success right?"

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