Well, that was fun.
We saw the moon totally eclipse the sun. We saw people observe it. We saw darkness briefly reign.
All in all, it proved to be a very nice distraction from Everything Else.
Thanks for reading, we hope you had fun, and we’ll see everyone in 2024. Hopefully.
The moon blocked out the sun on Monday as the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the US in nearly a century began over the west coast, while millions of Americans looked skyward in wonder through protective glasses, telescopes, and cameras.
After weeks of anticipation, the sight of the moon’s silhouette passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but a halo-like solar corona and causing a precipitous drop in temperature, drawing whoops and cheers from onlookers gathered in Madras, Oregon.
“First contact!” someone yelled. Horns honked. Eclipse glasses were popped onto faces, all of which turned eastward to the sun.
As the sky grew dark, around 10.16am, the temperature started to drop and eclipse viewers started to shout and cheer. The most common exclamation was: “Oh my God!” A ring of light glimmered around the black moon – the long-awaited corona, finally safe to view with the naked eye.
Light returned quickly. “Come back, the moon!” someone yelled. As onlookers exhaled and shook the tension out of their bodies, someone said: “I could have looked at that for another 20 minutes!”
As quickly as it came, the eclipse receded, as the umbra – the location of the total shadow – bolted across the continent at an average speed of 1,700 miles per hour. When all is said and done the “totality” will have engulfed a strip of the country occupied by 12.2 million people, joined temporarily by millions more who traveled to the 70-mile-wide eclipse path for the spectacle.