Cheers and applause erupted from a crowd of a few thousand of people gathered outside the Museum of Flight in Tukwila on Monday as the moon eclipsed the sun.
The museum partnered with NASA to host an eclipse viewing event.
Although the eclipse didn’t begin until about 9:30 a.m., people began lining up around 4:30 a.m. in hopes of getting a coveted pair of eclipse viewing glasses. The museum quickly ran out of the 1,000 pairs of glasses it had, but offered tips for alternate ways to safely view the eclipse. Museum staff handed out Ritz crackers and paper so that people could make pinhole viewers.
Tiger Keo, of Renton, arrived at the museum around 7:30 a.m. with his fingers crossed that he would get a pair of eclipse viewing glasses, and he did.
“I was so excited to come over here and take a look,” he said. “I’m so surprised there are all these people.”
Ted Weinberg of Mercer Island built an eclipse viewing projector similar to one he made while in fourth grade for the 1979 eclipse.
“I decided over the weekend I just had to do it again,” he said.
It took a couple of hours to construct the device using a cardboard box, foil and paper, Weinberg said. The light from the sun passes through 2-millimeter hole in the foil and projects the shadow the eclipse on the inside of the box to allow for safe viewing without eclipse glasses.
Weinberg’s projector was popular among people viewing the eclipse at the museum. He estimated about 70 people had viewed the eclipse through his projector around the time the eclipse reached its peak at about 10:20 a.m.
“A lot of people showed up without glasses,” he said. “ I wasn’t expecting (the projector) to be this popular.”
The museum also showed a livestream of the eclipse in its theater.
NASA’s Gulfsteam III science aircraft left the museum on Monday morning for its airborne science mission. The California-based aircraft arrived at the museum on Sunday.