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Thousands witness partial solar eclipse in Tri-Counties

Residents at University Village in Thousand Oaks watched the partial eclipse on Monday
Caroline Feraday
The partial solar eclipse as seen in Thousand Oaks on Monday

Including many seniors living in Thousand Oaks.

Pairs of solar eclipse glasses are handed out to residents at the University Village Thousand Oaks. While these seniors are not going to experience total darkness, many are excited to see the partial eclipse. Among them, resident Karl Martersteck, who worked on NASA’s lunar landing program before retiring.

"Fortunately, we have a clear day, so the viewing should be very good. We had some glasses, not enough for everybody, but hopefully people will share them and take advantage of the opportunity for this rare, celestial event," said Martersteck.

For many here, like Karl, it’s not the first time they’ve witnessed an eclipse. However, some are aware that it might be the last chance they have to see one.

The partial solar eclipse as seen in Thousand Oaks on Monday
Russ Maloney
The partial solar eclipse as seen in Thousand Oaks on Monday

"I think a lot of the people have seen at least a partial eclipse. Several have told me they've seen full eclipses, as have I. But there's still a lot of excitement. For most of the people here, we are pretty painfully aware that the next eclipse will be 20 years from now, and most of us won't be around to enjoy that. So that's why I think they're anxious to take advantage of today's opportunity," said Martersteck.

Watching together, in a group, staring at the sky was emotional, humbling, and a reminder of the awesome wonder of nature.

You can definitely see the moon blocking off part of the sun, and it's a significant part. So it's fun to watch. It's not totality, but it's good enough," one resident told KCLU.

Another said, "If you've seen a total eclipse, it feels otherworldly and you feel very small compared to the forces of nature. And you realize that, you better take that into account. It's unforgiving."

"I feel very insignificant," noted another resident.

"Nature is wonderful. There is so much up there that we don't know and we're still learning," said another resident.

"The sun looks like a crescent moon," another told KCLU. "I wanted to [watch] because I don't know if I'll be around for the next one - 2044. It's 20 years from now," she said.

"It's just beautiful. It reminds me of the film E.T. when he was on his bike going across the horizon. It's a perfect shadow. It's beautiful," said another resident.

The next opportunity to see a total solar eclipse in California will be August 12 2045.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 10 Golden Mike Awards, 5 Los Angeles Press Club Awards, 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for eleven years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.