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Families were gathered at MSUM for a free eclipse viewing event

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The solar event of the decade was seen by thousands around the country - and for those in the area in the area, MSUM was the place to be.

For 3 hours, families crowded around an MSUM parking lot, waiting for the Great American Eclipse.

People were pumped.

"Well it's pretty darn exciting!" said one viewer.

"It's really exciting getting to watch it. When you look through the glasses you can see it and it's really cool," another said.

The free viewing party was a chance for people to get out and see a once-in-a lifetime event, but for MSUM organizers, it was a chance to create a community.

"We're so glued to our cell phones, and our technology. And the world is kind of a rough place with lot of bad things happening. So, this is kind of a positive and natural event that people can come out and ask questions about it," said Linda Winkler.

From asking questions to sharing stories of the last time an eclipse came around.

"You know I was an 8th grader, 13 years old, and after it all started and began it was really exciting, and now I want her to see it, so that's why we came here," said viewer Joe Carrier.

What makes this eclipse so special?

"This never really happens a whole lot," a viewer said.

The last time an eclipse like this happened was 1918, and the next coast-to-coast eclipse won't be until 2045.

A moment of history spent with friends, loved ones, and a supportive community.

Professors from the Physics and Astronomy Department travelled to the path of totality to experience the full eclipse, they'll be back later this week with videos and photos to share with their students.

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