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Thousands visit Ohio's state parks to experience solar eclipse

It's been the talk of the country and certainly central Ohio for much of Monday.

A solar eclipse moved through the sky across North America and thousands of people in central Ohio visited state parks and other areas to experience the event.

One of the places spectators went was Alum Creek State Park. When the eclipse hit totality, the hundreds of people sitting in lawn chairs and on blankets at the parks beach ooh-ed, ahh-ed and screamed at the sight.

The sky looked eerie, like a midday sunset, the air turned chilly and darkness suddenly enveloped the beach just before 3:12 p.m.

Ellen Guddy, a fourth-year mathematics student at The Ohio State University, came with roommates, friends and classmates.

“It was like a ring, like it looked like a ring of light, it was really cool. Like I could only look at it like a second because it kind of made my head hurt a little bit," Guddy said. "But it was a ring of light, and everything got like sunsetty, like we were at a sunset. Really dark, really cool. Then the sun slowly started coming back and peeking through."

Guddy said she would be open to experiencing another solar eclipse. “I would totally drive to see this again. It was really cool to experience. I was like OK, the Earth did its thing, it was really cool to experience.”

Jennifer Gordon, of Westerville, went to the park with her husband Tobias and their four young children to watch the eclipse. Her husband Tobias Gordon, clad in a NASA t-shirt, set up a telescope that was attached to their phone.

With the telescope they could view the full phases of the eclipse through without the eclipse glasses. When totality hit, they could view the eclipse in full glory through their own eyes.

“We came here around 11 a.m. and just kind of set up and had a family picnic, and then we got our telescope out and we got some equipment that we could use filters for the eclipse so I could get the sun. We had my phone attached, so we could take photos or video and did that."

Gordon said she appreciated getting to share the experience with her children.

"It was really fun and getting to, you know, use the glasses and just watching (the eclipse) as it was slowly progressing was really cool. And then seeing the little diamond ring around during the beginning of the totality was really nice," Gordon said.

The next total eclipse is expected to happen in Ohio in 2099.