By Gary Nelson

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — At Belen Jesuit Prep school, members of the astronomy club, their parents, and their siblings watched a stellar performance Monday. Belen, one of few schools with not one but two observatories, offered an up close view of a universal moment in the eclipse of the sun.

“That was phenomenal, an awesome experience, one that I will very much remember,” said student Nicholas Molina.

The school’s astronomy program is 163 years old and was founded in Havana, Cuba. It was seized by the Castro regime, but not robbed of its love for star gazing that it brought with it to Miami.

“This is a very rare and unique experience, and to see it here in the United States is amazing,” said Vivian Caballero who joined her parents in watching the eclipse at the school.

In addition to watching with protective lenses, students used a colander to project an array of crescents on a table and with a pinhole camera saw the disappearing sun.

“My mom always talked about seeing solar eclipses in El Salvador, and she would say how beautiful, how majestic they were, such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I wanted to experience that too,” student Andres Alfonzo said.

One mother shot a cell phone video, awed by what she said God had wrought.

“Oh, my God, what an amazing experience, wonderful, one in a lifetime,” said parent Yucelin Ramirez.

Indeed while the astronomy was fascinating, for many there was something larger, something spiritual happening in space.

“A creator like ours gave us this sun that we’re watching, so I feel we are blessed,” said parent Gus Caballero.

Students, parents and teachers all felt blessed to be there, watching as a marvel played out above them in the heavens.


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