By Joe Bachman
Peak time for maximum eclipse is expected at 1:13 p.m.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — While the first visible solar eclipse in 26 years will just miss Wisconsin by a hair on Monday, the next visible event will actually take place right through Wood County — on Sept. 14, 2099.
The eclipse will touch down first in Oregon and trend southbound, visiting Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois along the way. For those who would rather not wait 82 years for the next solar eclipse that will pass over Wood County, there is another option. Stargazers; and sun-gazers alike, can still catch a partial eclipse over Wood County.
On Monday, Aug. 21, two local events have been setup for spectators to safely view the partial eclipse. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Lincoln High School will host ‘View the Eclipse’. All materials to safely view the eclipse will be provided by Lincoln staff. Interested parties can meet at the south end of the student parking lot.
Robinson Park will host their very own event called ‘Apocalypse Now’ from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., located at 1150 17th St. N. A disc golf competition is slated for that day, timed specifically at ‘dark’ and ‘light’ times throughout the day in congruence with the eclipse. Admission for disc golf is $20.
According to NASA, anyone viewing the solar eclipse on Monday must use protective eyewear, or risk solar retinopathy, which could lead to permanent eye damage. For those willing to make the trek to southern Illinois to view the full eclipse, the closest town from Wood County is Belleville, Ill.