CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Thousands of UVA community members gathered on the Lawn to watch Monday’s solar eclipse.

They shared viewing glasses, had picnics and petted some dogs.

Some students even brought special camera equipment out to capture and remember the moment.

"Right before the cloud cover where it was mostly covering up the sun, I think I could see a couple of the sunspots. It was just like really cool to see all that detail, just like the whole crescent shape and everything,” said second-year student Brian Alewine.

Even though it was little cloudy at the peak 3:17, most students said they were more impressed by how many people came out to watch.

"I just don't think I've ever seen so many people on the Lawn like this before. We brought a picnic blanket and had music going so it was really a cool event," said fourth-year student Montana Showalter.

The viewing party was hosted by President Jim Ryan, the astronomy club and student council.