- COurtesy of Jonathan Kemp
- Photos taken at Middlebury College's Mittelman Observatory on Monday by telescope specialist Jonathan Kemp
Thousands of Vermonters watched a rare solar eclipse on Monday afternoon. And unlike our president, the state's sun-gazers must have heeded warnings not to look directly at that big glowing orb.
The University of Vermont Medical Center emergency room reported no "incoming" injuries during the cosmic event.
The Vermont State Police didn't notice an increase in crashes involving motorists who forgot to remove their eclipse glasses. Ditto the Burlington police. As Deputy Chief Shawn Burke put it, "Nothing eclipse-related impacted police services" — though several viewing parties broke out around the Queen City.
According to one estimate, the eclipse was responsible for a loss in U.S. work productivity valued at $700 million. Seven Days was happy to contribute to that total. As 2:40 p.m. rolled around and the eclipse peaked in Burlington, staff streamed outside and passed around a few pairs of eclipse glasses and a homemade pinhole viewer made out of a Chex box.
The moon covered about 60 percent of the sun.
Another group gathered at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, while hundreds more set up on the lawn outside the Fletcher Free Library. Seven Days' Katie Jickling was there to capture the excitement.
"It's good community-building," Brian Perkins told her.
"Much better than staying in your backyard," chimed in another attendee.
If you were among the unlucky ones who didn't get a chance to see it, never fear. Burlington will be in the path of a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. So save those glasses!