It was a unique first day of class at Chico State. Thousands of students and others filled a lawn area on campus to view the partial solar eclipse.
Action News Now Chief Photographer Rick Carhart was there and gives us a look at the festive atmosphere.
All eyes were on the sky this morning in front of Glenn Hall at Chico State.
"Solar eclipse only happens once in a lifetime," said Angel Ortega, who was at the celestial event.
As the moment grew closer, the crowd swelled.
"It was fantastic, we had a few thousand people show up and many more cycle through," said Nick Nelson, an assistant professor of physics at the campus.
From students viewing the event with special glasses, to mom's showing their toddlers through a cereal box, the solar eclipse was a big hit.
"It felt a little like dusk, the light gets a little dim and the shadows get all crescent shaped, it's fantastic to watch," Nelson said.
Everyone wanted to be a part of it.
"I was surprised at the turnout, i didn't think so many people were going to be interested in seeing the eclipse," Ortega said.
"It just feels good, what a special day for these guys, first day of school, eclipse, 87 percent, and they have good energy," said John Mealley, another giddy viewer.
And thanks to a cooperative crowd, they all had a chance to see something unique.
"At least a hundred people borrowed these for a few seconds," Meally said.
Including someone we recognized.
"To see all these people gathering was pretty cool," Ortega said.
The North State didn't have the best view of the celestial celebration.
"The only thing that would be nice is if we were about 100 miles north and we could see it a little better," Nelson said.
But what a way to start off the semester and it left many with something to look forward to.
"Next time I want to be at a total one at the beach," Nelson said.
If you missed today's event, get comfortable because the next time we'll see a partial solar eclipse in the north state will be October 14, 2023.More