'My hairs are still standing up': Solar eclipse thrills Saskatoon sky-watchers

Roberto Giannini of Regina is still recovering from the thrill of seeing day turn to night during a total solar eclipse in the U.S.

Saskatoon residents witness rare event at home and in the U.S.

A child gets a close-up view of the total solar eclipse at the University of Saskatchewan observatory on Aug. 21. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Roberto Giannini is still recovering from the thrill of seeing day turn to night during a total solar eclipse.

The Regina man travelled to Wyoming to watch from a ranch in the "path of totality."

"All the animals laid down, coyotes started howling, everything went dead quiet, stars came out," he said.

"You could look up and look at the totality with the naked eye only during that time and you could see the corona just hovering around the moon. It was just an absolutely amazing sight."

People in Saskatoon found all sorts of ways to view the eclipse. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Giannini said the eclipse happened slowly at first, with the moon gradually eating into the shape of the sun. But he said the movement of the eclipse seemed to speed up dramatically about three minutes before totality.

"There was a little bit of cloud cover far away from us where you could see the shadow of the moon starting to cut across, and then within seconds we went to blackness," said Giannini.

The Saskatchewan man was one of tens of thousands of people who travelled to a strip of regions across the U.S. to witness the total solar eclipse.

In Saskatoon, crowds lined up to view a partial eclipse at the University of Saskatchewan observatory.

Amy Templeman of Saskatoon (right), her partner Travis and daughter Aurora travelled to Columbia, Mo., to watch the total solar eclipse. Despite a partly cloudy forecast on Sunday, the skies were clear for the main event on Monday. (Submitted by Amy Templeman)

Others made their own devices for the eclipse-viewing party, using pinhole cameras or watching through special safety glasses and even looking at the shadows casts by salad strainers.

About 75 per cent of the sun was expected to be covered by the moon at maximum eclipse in Saskatoon. 

With files from CBC Radio's Blue Sky