Total solar eclipse mesmerizes America
Emotional sky-gazers stood transfixed across North America Monday as the Sun vanished behind the Moon in a rare total eclipse that swept the continent coast-to-coast for the first time in nearly a century.
The moon eclipses the sun above the campus of Southern Illinois University on August 21, 2017 in Carbondale, Illinois. Although much of it was covered by a cloud, with approximately 2 minutes 40 seconds of totality the area in Southern Illinois experienced the longest duration of totality during the eclipse.
Millions of people are expected to watch as the eclipse cuts a path of totality 70 miles wide across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina on August 21. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
Eclipse chasers and amateur star watchers alike converged in cities along the path of totality, a 70-mile (113-kilometer) wide swath cutting through 14 US states, where the Moon briefly blocked out all light from the Sun.
Festivals, rooftop parties, weddings, camping trips and astronomy meet-ups popped up nationwide for what NASA expected to be the most heavily photographed and documented eclipse in modern times, thanks to the era of social media.