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SWFL Astronomical Society solar eclipse watch party was "cool, beautiful!"

Dozens came out to Centennial Park to get a glimpse of a partial solar eclipse where the moon obscured about 52% of the sun at the eclipse's peek over Southwest Florida.
Posted at 10:11 PM, Apr 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-08 22:11:42-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Southwest Florida Astronomical Society hosted an eclipse watch party at Centennial Park in Downtown Ft Myers on Monday.

Brian Risley is the president.

"We like to get out and help people see the night sky and the daytime sky too," he said.

Samantha Dietz is one of the dozens who came out to take part in the event Monday afternoon. In Southwest Florida, the eclipse seen was a partial eclipse, and at its peek just before 3:00pm, about 52% of the sun was obscured by the moon.

"I'm super into science and stuff," Dietz said.

She's no stranger to this phenomenon. She says she feels lucky to have seen two eclipses. One in 2017 and the one on Monday.

"I think the next one is not for 20 something years," Dietz said.

You're right, Samantha. The next coast to coast eclipse will be in August of 2045.

"An eclipse basically is when the sun is blocked by the moon, which is a solar eclipse, or we have lunar eclipses where the Earth blocks the sun from the moon," Risley said.

Children who came to the event called the eclipse "cool" and "beautiful."