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Area getting excited for solar eclipse

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - In just 3 days the sun will disappear for a short time across America.

People in our area are pretty excited about it, so excited that NASA's eclipse glasses are almost impossible to get your hands on.

Both the libraries in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks will have glasses available for the eclipse. However, with so many people wanting to view it, you're going to have to wait to get them.

If you want to get outside of Grand Forks to see the eclipse, there are many or groups in the area hosting watch events.

Jeffrey Powell is the director of student life at Mayville State University, and he is hosting an eclipse watch party for all students and faculty on the first day of classes.

Powell: "It’s one of the really cool opportunities you have when you are in an educational environment. To give students the chance to see not the way the world works, but the way our solar system works."

Classes at Mayville State start Monday at 4 p.m. But before that, Powell will be watching the eclipse from the baseball field.

Powell: "We've been thinking of this for a while. When does a Comet get to look at the sun? And this is one of those times that this happens."

He is providing his spectators with glasses, but here in Grand Forks those are hard to come by.

The Campbell Library in East Grand Forks was giving out glasses that NASA sent to them, but now they are running low and stopped handing them out. Hopeful viewers have to line up early Monday morning to receive a pair on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Andrea Scherer, Campbell Library: "We've had a lot of people come to the library that don’t normally come to the library to participate in these events and ask about the eclipse and everything that’s going on with that.”

The Grand Forks Public Library will also be handing out glasses, but spectators can't take them home. They have to return them after viewing the eclipse.

There is also a group of professors and students from the University of North Dakota who are currently driving to western Idaho to get an ideal glimpse of the eclipse.

Elijah Matthews, UND student: "It'll be unreal. I’ve read reports of people seeing these things for the first time and its nothing like you'd expect it to be. So I anticipate being blown away by this eclipse."

Experts say the next full eclipse visible from our area will take place in 2099. Which is why so many are going out of their way to see it this year.

Powell: "This is part of education. I’m not a scientist, I’m a counselor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love the mechanics of how our solar system works.”

WDAZ will also be following the eclipse on Monday. Our own Ty Filley will be reporting from Missouri giving us an optimal view of this rare happening.

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