Our staff in the field is filing regular reports today on what is happening in the suburbs during the eclipse.
1:51 p.m. A shade disappointed in Naperville
Despite warnings from the school PA system not to look at the eclipse through cellphones, several at Naperville Central High School's viewing area did so anyway. Some expressed disappointment with the cloud cover. But freshman Andrew Lindstrom said, "I thought that was really beautiful," said after getting one unobstructed view.
1:38 p.m. 'Once-in-a-lifetime thing,' says fifth grader
As the eclipse reached its maximum totality, Wayne Elementary School Principal Marybeth Whitney-DeLaMar asked students to pause and observe their surroundings. Birds stopped chirping, the temperature dropped, and the skies got darker the more the sun was covered by the moon, said 10-year-old Rylee Beese, a fifth grader. Ten minutes later, dozens of students remained at the school's playground to observe the moon move away from the sun. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so it's really cool," said fifth-grader Lorna Bellas, 11.
1:19 p.m. Polite applause at Harper College
The eclipse assemblage at Harper College in Palatine breaks into polite applause at 1:19 p.m.
1:17 p.m. Wayne teacher: 'Wonderful way to start the school year.'
As Janie Kidd's third grade class at Wayne Elementary School wait for the eclipse, some students start noticing a temperature change caused by the moon blocking the sun. Kidd has been incorporating the eclipse into her lesson plan since school started last week, she said, so students know what to expect. That doesn't stop them from staring through their special solar eclipse glasses in awe and cheering in excitement. "I've been a teacher for 33 years, and this is something we've never been able to do," she said. "It was a really wonderful way to begin the school year."
1:10 p.m. Elementary school excitement in Wayne
Fourth grade students from Wayne Elementary School filed outside to observe various stages of the moon covering the sun. As the sun began to peek through hazy skies, 10-year-old Grace Hartnett said her view through a pair of special solar eclipse glasses got brighter and clearer. "We're just so excited," Principal Marybeth Whitney-DeLaMar said.
12:59 p.m. Memorable birthday for Mount Prospect woman
"This will be a memorable birthday. What did I do when I turn 44? I watched the eclipse," said Lisa Cassaidy of Mount Prospect, who watched the spectacle with her dad, Vincent Sanasardo of Arlington Heights.
12:57 p.m. Maybe the last time for eclipse viewing
Hundreds of people gathered on the lawn south of the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills to watch the eclipse. Mundelein resident Rupa Vaniyamparambath used her cellphone to show her 10-year-old daughter, Shivani, and a young neighbor the eclipse. "We have not done this before, and this may be the last time we are doing it," Vaniyamparambath said.
12:42 p.m. Naperville seniors helps track eclipse data
Naperville Central High School seniors Colin Jensen and Shirley Wu prepared for an eclipse experiment they set up on the school's roof: tracking the rate of subatomic particles called muouns as they progressed toward earth. Their data from during the eclipse will contribute to research being conducted by Fermilab in Batavia.
12:33 p.m. Smooth sailing to eclipse viewing site
A Monday morning road trip to southern Illinois went well for Siga Lapinskas, of Woodridge, although she said the rest stops along I-57 had lines that wrapped around the building. Lapinskas, her mom and a family friend made it to their viewing spot -- a forested, lakefront spot in the Crab Orchard Reserve in Marion, about a half-hour east of Carbondale.
12:29 p.m. Eclipse at Harper 'just like Pac-Man'
"It was like Pac-Man," said 9-year-old Aarav Purwar, of Arlington Heights, who came to Harper with his dad, Ashish Purwar. "I want to see the moon cover up the sun completely with just a fire ring."
11:42 a.m. Vernon Hills library eclipse watcher: 'This hasn't happened in my lifetime'
Dozens of children and adults lined up outside the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills for tickets that will allow them to get free glasses to watch the eclipse. Vernon Hills resident Nicole Carson and her son, Caden Longdon, are at the front of the line. "It's a great learning opportunity and something that hasn't happened in my lifetime," Nicole said. "And it's a chance to engage my son in science and help him learn new things."
11:16 a.m. 'An interest in science'
"This is a fun site to see the eclipse, so we thought we should help," said Joshua George, 10, who volunteered with his mother, Shiny George, and 13-year-old sister, Joanna, of Arlington Heights. "We probably won't get to do this again until we are much older," Joanna noted. "This shows an interest in science, so I'm excited," said Shiny George, Who teaches science, chemistry and biology at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights.
10:59 a.m. At Harper College, they have eclipse glasses, but you have to give them back
"We have our glasses station starting at noon," says Raeghan Graessle, a physics instructor manning Monday's eclipse-viewing event at Harper College in Palatine. "You can grab a pair, look for a minute and give them back. We're sharing them."
10:47 a.m. Report from road to eclipse
Ron and Jodi Martin of Elgin chose to drive and return from southern Illinois the same day. They report traffic is "a little lighter than we expected" as they were about 45 minutes from Fort Kaskaskia State Park, near Chester. "Weather looks good!" Ron said.