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The Eclipse Is “Like A Rock Concert Only Better”

Michael Kauper, of Minneapolis, takes a solar filter off of his telescope while testing his equipment on Saturday afternoon along the trails behind the Parkway Plaza in Casper. Kauper was in Casper attending AstroCon and to see the eclipse. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Michael Kauper sat along the Platte River Trail behind the Parkway Plaza on Saturday morning surrounded by his telescopes and cameras. He hoped to make sure everything was good to go for today’s eclipse.

“I had no idea that Casper would have all this great theater and great restaurants,” said Kauper, who spent the previous day walking around the city and shooting pictures.

Kauper traveled from Minneapolis to Casper to attend the AstroCon convention and see the eclipse. It will be his fifth.

He has been an astronomy fan for years and enjoys holding and attending start parties. “Drunks are incredibly friendly to people with telescopes,” said Kauper.

Kauper ran a daycare in Minneapolis and is now retired, allowing him to chase eclipses. His last eclipse was in China, where he woke at 3 a.m. to arrive at a truck stop. Then a half hour before the eclipse it started to rain. “A minute before the eclipse started, the clouds parted,” said Kauper.

Kauper says an eclipse novice should expect to be awed. “If they see it with a good crowd they say ‘Ok, you were right. When is the next one’!”

“People just love eclipses,” said Kauper. “Why do you love music? It’s hard to explain.”

Interesting as an eclipse may be, Kauper says it’s the communal experience that truly makes it special. “It’s like a rock concert, only better,” said Kauper.

“The connection between the people who see this together is very, very primal.”

Michael Kauper wears ear cuffs of Saturn while testing out his telescopes on Saturday afternoon near the Parkway Plaza. This will be Kauper’s fifth eclipse. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
The sun reflects off of a solar filter on Michael Kauper’s telescope on Saturday afternoon at the Parkway Plaza. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
Michael Kauper sits with his telescopes and cameras behind the Parkway Plaza on Saturday afternoon in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)