St. Charles man looks forward to third eclipse

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Bob Sullentrup's interest in astronomy goes back to his childhood during the space race between the United States and Russia.

"I was fascinated by America's march to the moon," said Sullentrup. "When I was growing up in the 60s all I ever wanted was to be centerfielder for the Cardinals or I wanted to be an astronaut like John Glenn."

Although he never traveled into outer space, the IT developer from St. Charles, Mo. remained fascinated by it, especially solar eclipses. "I have seen two solar eclipses, one in the Black Sea. That was in 1999 when our entire family went over there and the year before in Aruba in the Caribbean," said Sullentrup. 

Sullentrup looks forward to the August 21 solar eclipse with anticipation. "Just makes me proud to be a human and part of the universe."

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Sullentrup observed that mankind's understanding of solar eclipses has come a long way.

"Years ago in antiquity people didn't know what the heck was going on. They thought that the gods stole their sun." What was once thought to be a Cosmic heist now fascinates people all over the world and Sullentrup expects his third solar eclipse to be another rare gem.

"Just before the sun goes into totality there will be what they call a diamond ring and those are the last rays of the photosphere that are available," said Sullentrup. "There will also be a diamond on the way out."

For Sullentrup, eclipses are the Super Bowl of celestial events, where cloud cover could spoil the tailgate party.

"If it's cloudy it will be like Adam Vinatieri kicking a field goal at the end of Super Bowl 36.  If it's not cloudy it's going to be like Kevin Dyson getting tackled by Mike Jones at the end of Super Bowl 34."