Posted 9:33 PM 5/20/2012 : Hundreds watch solar eclipse at the University of Arizona
TUCSON - Thousands of people watched the solar eclipse on the University of Arizona Mall Sunday evening.
Flandrau Science Center ran out of protective glasses early in the afternoon.
Tucsonans scrambled to find a store that had any left in stock.
Stellar Vision Astronomy Shop ordered about 5,000 pairs. They are usually closed Sundays but opened anyway.
"Feels good," Nathan Hattala said. "Now I can stare at the sun and not screw up my eyes."
The store had a few hundred left at 5:00 p.m.
One of the store's owners, Frank Lopez, was excited about more than just the spike in business.
"To see these people," Lopez said, "coming in here, smiling about the eclipse, it's fun for me."
Several amateur astronomers set up solar telescopes on the UA Mall and were happy to share.
"I just think it's great to see people look through the telescope," Gary Copeland said, "who have never seen stuff like this."
Flandrau Science Center gave people low-tech pinhole devices to see the shadow of the eclipse.
"Pretty good," Maria Valley said, "you don't have to look at the sun, so it's a lot easier on your eyes."
Gail Armstrong was happy to see everybody helping each other.
"This was awesome," Armstrong said, "to just see everyone in Tucson coming out and experiencing this and being kind to share their glasses."
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