Hawaii eclipse not so clear, but mainland gets quite the show

Hawaii eclipse not so clear, but mainland gets quite the show
(Image: Bishop Museum)
(Image: Bishop Museum)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Crowds gathered in East Oahu on Monday morning for a chance to catch a glimpse of a partial solar eclipse seen from Hawaii.

The bad news: It was pretty tough to see as clouds covered the sun.

The good news: A patient few got a spectacular view.

"At first, we were a little bummed because we saw a bunch of clouds on the horizon so we didn't think we'd be able to see it," said Kaimen Veach, who is visiting from San Diego and got in place to see the eclipse from Makapuu.

"But then the sun just started peeking out and then it came over the clouds. We saw it through his camera and it was incredible. I mean, it was only about 30 percent but it looked like a little PacMan sun. It was awesome."

On the mainland, though, the total solar eclipse was a site to behold.

The eclipse wowed sky gazers across the mainland, starting from Oregon to South Carolina.

People in Oregon saw the eclipse starting around 7:15 a.m. Hawaii time.

The last time Hawaii saw the moon completely slide in front of the sun was 26 years ago.  That's when Hawaii was right in the totality zone and thousands tried to get the best view.

"It's like chicken skin, you know, I'm still shaken," said one eclispe watcher that day.  "You can't describe it, it's something that needs to be experienced.

The year was 1991 and the excitement was palpable. Remember the protective glasses? They were everywhere!

The view was billed to be the best on the Big Island. So in West Hawaii, people camped at parks and beaches.

Hundreds lined Queen Kaahumanu Highway, all hoping that they had picked the perfect spot. For many it was all a waiting game for the big show.

And nerves crept up as the clouds rolled in.

But when the clock finally rolled around to 7:28 a.m. and the sky had cleared, it was all worth it.

"Oh yeah, look at that!  That is unbelievable! Look at that huge prominence," said one eclispe watcher

So much anticipation for just four minutes of darkness.

Excited about the next eclipse? The next time Hawaii will be in the path of a total solar eclipse will be in 2106.

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