Top of the Morning, Aug. 24, 2017

Top of the Morning, Aug. 24, 2017

On Monday's front page, we asked in big, bold type where you'd be at the peak of the solar eclipse (1:20 p.m.).

BARBARA LILLYMAN showed us where, sending this tweet:

That's her husband, DAN, holding that morning's News-Gazette.

"I wasn't planning on taking any pictures because I just wanted to take it all in and soak up the experience," she said. "My sister, though, is a junior high science teacher in Fort Wayne, Ind., and she was texting me, asking me for updates. I did manage to take and send to her a VERY bad video during totality that she shared with her students."

Barbara (an SIU grad) and Dan (a UI grad) were among an alumni group aligned with the UI's astronomy department that took six buses to Goreville for what turned out to be "an awe-inspiring experience," Dan said. "A perfect setting."

"I was very hesitant," at first, Barbara said. "I knew how hot and humid August could be down there. I also had bad memories of school field trips and boring lectures and assemblies in hot high school gyms with no A/C. My husband reassured me it would be nothing like a high school field trip. He was right."

The only bummer? Traffic on the way home.

"Even with the 10-hour bus ride back to C-U," Barbara said, "I would do it again."

Here's more on the trip from Dan, who graduated in 1990 with a degree in nuclear engineering:

"Six busloads of geeks took over the school and campus. We had lawnchairs, telescopes provided by astronomy department and fancy viewing glasses. Perfect weather, clear skies, just a few puffy clouds at the horizon which enhanced the '360-degree sunrise' effect during totality. The approach to totality was expertly narrated. We were told when to expect the shadow bands, Bailey's beads, diamond ring and, finally, take our glasses off and look directly at the corona."