The first glimpses of the first total solar eclipse to cross the United States from coast to coast in 99 years began in Oregon, with totality just after 1 p.m. ET. What started as a tiny crescent of the moon’s shadow turned into a perfectly beautiful eclipse in city after city. It ended in South Carolina about 3 p.m. ET.
A partial solar eclipse was visible until just after 4 p.m. in the Southeast. The next solar eclipse over the United States will occur in April 2024.
During totality in many cities, it looked like nighttime, with stars appearing in the sky and the temperature dropping. Crickets could be heard chirping in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Unfortunately for those in Beatrice, Nebraska, there was a bit of a hazy view due to fog, but it was still hauntingly beautiful.
For those experiencing a partial eclipse, streetlights came on, and the sky darkened to varying degrees, with the light appearing almost unnatural.
Little crescents were visible on the ground and reflecting off car windshields and skyscraper windows. Particularly popular on social media were crescents showing up in the shade of trees. The spaces between the leaves acted as pinholes. The light that came through the many pinholes showed up as individual crescents.
The view from 35,000 feet — for those with the appropriate glasses — was stunning.
NASA was all about the eclipse and having a bit of fun with it, tweeting a joke about the moon blocking the sun — on social media.
“HA HA HA I’ve blocked the Sun! Make way for the Moon,” said the official NASA Moon account, which blocked the NASA Sun’s account.
Along with the moon and some sunspots, the International Space Station made a cameo in front of the sun. If you looked very closely, you could see it.
And the astronauts aboard the space station captured it as the eclipse moved across the country.
President Donald Trump and the first lady stepped outside the White House to take in the eclipse, glasses in place.