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WHAT WE THINK: A total eclipse of our day

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Well that was fun!

The build up was immense, the hype beyond anything even the sporting world could produce.

But the solar eclipse lived up to its billing as one of the greatest celestial shows on earth.

Maybe Shelby County wasn’t in the path of totality and maybe it’s didn’t get dark enough to fool our bats into coming out and our chickens into going in to roost.

It turns out about 5 percent of the sun is still a lot of light.

But it did get noticeably darker and markedly cooler, which on a blazing hot day like Monday was a nice treat.

And the best part of the eclipse wasn’t even the show.

While it was amazing, it was even more amazing to us to see how the community handled the event.

Bespectacled heads were turned upward everywhere we looked.

Of course our schools used the event to work on everything from straightforward science-based studies like temperature change and how the planets and moons move through the solar system to other, more cross-curricular events like writing observations, charting unique shadows and more.

“It was a great day,” said Ryan Allan, SCPS public relations coordinator. “The students showed a lot of enthusiasm and learned a lot.”

SCHS student Sean Gilpatrick said he was enjoying the rare opportunity.

“It’s pretty cool. I like that the school is providing us with glasses and giving us time to go out and see the sun. It’s a pretty great experience,” he said, noting they first learned about the science behind an eclipse in their classroom before they were offered the opportunity to go out and witness it firsthand with friends.

And while schools were an obvious place to learn from the eclipse, they weren’t the only ones taking it in.

Cars were stopped on the side of the road, businesses shutdown to allow employees the opportunity to watch and others gathered at the Shelby County Public Library to watch the eclipse with friends.

But whether it was the party atmosphere at the library or offices and factories slowing down to watch, the event captivated our county – and the entire Bluegrass State.

“It’s just amazing,” said Joan Brown, looking up at the sun through her special glasses.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience, that’s for sure,” said Von Lewis, as she watched the second half of the eclipse.

And now we have a story to share – a “Where were you when?” moment we’ll be talking about for years.

It’s tough to have a defining moment like that on a Monday, leaving the rest of the week with a tough act to follow.

And if you missed it, you’re in luck.

While it had been 99 years since the last solar eclipse crossed the U.S., the next solar eclipse visible in the United States will be in 2024.

And it will be close again!

With a path from Texas to Maine – and running right through Indianapolis – Kentucky will have a good, if not great, view again, with the totality clipping the western edge of the state.