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Mizzou goes crazy for total eclipse

COLUMIBA, Mo. – Eclipse Day fell on back to school day for students at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Columbia was nearly “dead center” in the eclipse path.

Most students told Fox 2/News 11 their classes before and during the total solar eclipse were cancelled.

A massive crowd of students, staff, and alumni, gathered on the Carnahan Quad. There were free eclipse glasses and Shakespeare’s Pizza.

“I couldn’t have imagined my last first day of school any other way,” said Sophia Cygnarowicz, a senior from of Columbia, Illinois.

Totality came right on schedule. The sky got dark at 1:12 p.m. Automatic lights, fooled by the darkness, lit up the dome of Jesse Hall. Insects, also fooled, began chirping as if it were nightfall.

There was pure magic at Mizzou. A kinship or brotherhood seemed to sweep through, especially during the close to two minutes and 35 seconds of totality.

Researchers across campus were monitoring the impact of the eclipse on plants, birds, and insects.

A group of engineering students from the campus SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) chapter launched a weather balloon with cameras and GPS mounted in a Mizzou styrofoam cooler to track the eclipse up-close.

Minneapolis psychologist Bob Karol, who got his graduate degree from Mizzou, came back to campus with his wife and a special camera rig. Was he ever glad that he did! It was more than just the awesome photos he captured, he said.

“About a year, I’ve been planning this…it’s just awe-inspiring…my wife was just crying, it’s amazing, it’s just amazing,” he said.

The SEDS club recovered their gear which dropped back to Earth in Illinois, near the Illinois River about 100 miles northeast of Columbia, MO. As of early Monday night, they had yet to review their footage.