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Dozens gather at Castle Rock Park in Billings to view partial solar eclipse

Dozens gather at Castle Rock Park in Heights to view partial solar eclipse
Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 08, 2024

BILLINGS — As clouds filled the sky late Monday morning, people filled Castle Rock Park in the Billings Heights, hoping for a chance to see the partial solar eclipse.

For one Billings family, it wasn't their first time seeing a partial eclipse, but it was an especially memorable one as the clouds parted and everyone enjoyed a glimpse of the moon passing between the sun and the earth.

Dozens gather at Castle Rock Park in Heights to view partial solar eclipse

“We came out because it’s my daughter’s birthday. She’s turning 10 today, and we thought that was pretty unique to have a solar eclipse on your birthday,” said Katherine Bracken on Monday. “You can see it pretty well.”

The watch party was hosted by Billings Parks and Recreation, the Billings Public Library, Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County. Free eclipse glasses were available to safely look at the 50% sun coverage.

Dozens gather at Castle Rock Park in Heights to view partial solar eclipse

Sam Martinsen and his brother-in-law stopped by the park to check out the event. Martinsen was pleasantly surprised they were able to see the partial eclipse.

“I told him about it and I said, 'Well let's go up there and see if we can see the eclipse,'” Martinsen said. “I wasn’t sure if this was actually going to happen because of the clouds.”

Dozens gather at Castle Rock Park in Heights to view partial solar eclipse

While kids played at the park and everyone took time to look up at the sky, for Columbus resident Constance Smith, it was also a time to reflect on life.

Dozens gather at Castle Rock Park in Heights to view partial solar eclipse

“There’s just so many things that are special about this one,” Smith said. “It’s just a time for us to be able to see new things, to see the uniqueness of each of us, and come together for something as exciting as this.”