Video Of The Week — Historic Total Solar Eclipse Captivates Millions Across America

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Total Solar eclipse across Hopkinsville, Kentucky (Photo Credit: NASA.gov)

On Monday, August 21, millions of Americans across the country donned their protective eyeglasses to watch the highly anticipated total solar eclipse. Though the eclipses, which occur about every 18 months, are not rare, this one was historic. It was not only the first total solar eclipse visible from the mainland U.S. in more than 38 years, but also the first to be seen coast to coast in almost a century.

The progression of the total solar eclipse in Madras, Oregon (Photo Credit: NASA.gov)

The crowds cheered as the moon briefly obscured the sun, plunging cities all the way from Oregon to South Carolina into darkness. A shiver ran down many spines as the temperatures dropped dramatically, by up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit, during totality. Those fortunate enough to have clear skies not only saw the corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere, which is usually not visible in the sun’s glare but also the bright stars and planets.

NASA Space Observatory captures eclipse shadow over the United States (Photo Credit: NASA.gov)

Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative everywhere. The crowds gathered in Charleston, SC, the last big city in the path of totality, had to contend with a thick cloud cover when the partial eclipse began at 1:17 pm. It did thin out a little as totality took place at 2:46 pm, allowing for a good view of the eclipse, but not the sun’s corona! However, some spectacular bolts of lightning that occurred just as the moon covered the sun helped ease the disappointment somewhat. Even those not in the 70-mile wide path of the total solar eclipse had something to look forward to, since a partial one was visible across all 50 states!

The sun’s corona and bailey’s beads (the red spots) captured by NASA jets flying 25,000 feet above Oregon (Photo Credit: NASA.gov

All in all, the rare event, believed to be the most observed and most photographed eclipse in history, was a huge success. As Bill Nye aka "the Science Guy" succinctly put it, "Experiencing an eclipse changes the way we feel about space and how we are connected. I hope this moment reminds us all that we share a common origin among the stars and that we are all citizens of the same planet."

Resources: abc.go,com, vox.com,telegraph.co.uk

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499 Comments
  • bacon souc Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 9:40 am
    there is a solar eclipse dragon that roms around daring the event so you cant see it
    • bacon souc Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 9:15 am
      but when the eclipes happen the eclipes Dragon come out and if you try to see it you will be blind even with the the solar eclipes glasses you wont be abel to see it because it is black on the out side so you can only see the eclipes not the dragon its a legeond to see the evlipes Dragon i want to see it even if it tacks my eye sight
      • bacon souc Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 9:10 am
        but also did you no there is a eclipse Dragon that makes it happen erler
        • bacon souc Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 9:05 am
          my brother got blind from it sad :( and he was my faviret brother
          • wallresFriday, November 30, 2018 at 8:41 am
            my dad doesint let me see it
            • alainam
              alainamThursday, November 1, 2018 at 12:38 pm
              the eclipse was cool last year
              • imback
                imbackWednesday, October 24, 2018 at 8:53 pm
                I didn't get to see the eclipse at school I had to stay inside and watch how eclipse happens and some of my classmates go outside and put on sunglasses to see the eclipse outside.
                • cobrakid
                  cobrakidSunday, April 5, 2020 at 10:39 am
                  Me too! Let's fight for the right!
                • ZachFriday, September 21, 2018 at 1:29 pm
                  it looked cool
                  • ZachFriday, September 21, 2018 at 12:42 pm
                    cool
                    • blakeThursday, September 13, 2018 at 11:07 am
                      it looked rely cool.