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The photo above is a composite illustrating several phases of the partial eclipse leading up to and including totality. The diamond ring effect signals both the beginning and end, shown here, of the total eclipse. The photos were taken southeast of Arthur. (Johnson Publications photos by Chris Fidler)

Many trek to view total eclipse

It may have been the first time in its history that the village of Arthur had so many people there at once, and certainly it was the first time such a diverse crowd visited. Walking around the Arthur County Fairgrounds Monday morning in anticipation of the total solar eclipse that day were people from all around the country — and even some international visitors.
They came from varied locations with different backgrounds and ranged in age from needing strollers to wheelchairs, but everyone had the same goal: to see the total solar eclipse. For up to a week in advance people began camping out at what was routinely described as “the middle of nowhere, Nebraska.” Perhaps the biggest surprise was that there weren’t more people from relatively nearby. Many hailed from the Denver area, but there did not seem to be as many people from northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska as expected.
It was a popular destination, though, with several from Imperial and Chase County headed north toward that community. That’s because Arthur, about 85 miles north of Imperial, was in the path of the 70-mile total eclipse path through the state. For those who stayed in Imperial Monday, there was a 98.04 percent obscuration.
One of those traveling to Arthur was Chris Fidler, production superintendent at The Imperial Republican.
He carried along a high def video camera for atmospheric recording, a Nikon D300-S with a 200-500 mm zoom lens equipped with a solar filter, a tethered progammable shutter release, a sturdy tripod and two late model cell phone cameras for candid shots/backgrounds.
“It was great but if I hadn’t gone there to take photos, I probably would have enjoyed it more,” he smiled.
He returned with more than 1,700 photos, some of which are being used in this newspaper’s coverage of the historic event.

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