Rochester,  MN (KROC-AM News) - Hundreds of people ventured out of their offices and other workplaces in downtown Rochester this afternoon to view the solar eclipse first-hand. One of the larger gatherings was at the Mayo Civic Center, where dozens of people stood on the new Riverfront Plaza holding handmade viewers and special glasses with solar filters to watch as the moon covered nearly 85-percent of the sun just before clouds moved in and obstructed the rare astronomical sight.

Kim David, Townsquare Media

While it was not as impressive as the view seen by people gathered at sites located within the thin stripe of land treated to the total solar eclipse, most who witnessed it were excited to see the ball of blinding light reduced to a fairly thin crescent at the peak of the eclipse shortly after 1 PM (the photo included in this post was taken in Southeast Rochester at 1:08 p.m. with a DSLR camera equipped with a 300 millimeter telephoto lens and a solar filter).

The darkness in Rochester was not enough to require headlights or streetlamps, but it did cast an eerie murkiness on the landscape before an approaching area of of rain showers blotted out the remaining few minutes of the eclipse.