The skies darkened, and the temperature dropped, and the sun became a crescent sliver as the moon creeped into its path around 10 a.m. local time in the Pacific Northwest. It marked the start of the coast-to-coast total eclipse in North America, the first in more than a century. Around 10:15 a.m. PT, the moon completely blotted out the sun overhead in Madras, Oregon, leaving just the sun’s corona — its outermost layer — glowing like neon embroidery around a black orb.
Thousands of people flocked to campgrounds and National Parks and sports stadiums across the country in the path of totality. Others just popped open lawn chairs in parking spots or a street corner near some open sky. The country was for once united, at least by dorky, protective eyewear.
This total solar eclipse will likely be the most-photographed event in history, and stargazers have obliged. Here are some scenes from the eclipse’s first stop in Oregon:
It seems that the eclipse actually lived up to its hype — at least in the places that dodged heavy cloud cover. “It was more than worth it,” Erin Meadors told the Los Angeles Times after witnessing the eclipse in Salem, Oregon. “I should have been planning my whole life for this.”
Some who witnessed totality liked it an almost spiritual experience. “That was nuts,” Sage Reuter told the Washington Post. “It was so surreal, really.” A few of the most die-hard fans even got a bit choked up, among them one of Chicago’s most beloved meteorologists, WGN’s Tom Skilling.
Reporters documented “wows” and gasps and cheers as the sun disappeared behind the moon, glasses and cell phones pointing up in unison at the darkened sky.
Not everyone was impressed, however. And hazy and cloudy skies obscured some views across the country, particularly in the spots in the Midwest and East Coast — though the sliver of sun peaked through, for some.
The long-anticipated eclipse took about 90 minutes to go from coast to coast, casting a shadow from state to state.
After Oregon, the eclipse moved east passing over into Idaho, clipping Montana, and inching into Wyoming.
As the eclipse moved through Nebraska, the temperature dropped between 3 and 5 degrees in some places.
A reporter for the Omaha World-Herald even glimpsed some confused ducks in Omaha.
Carbondale, Illinois, won the distinction of having one of the longest periods of totality in North America: approximately two minutes and 38 seconds. Cloud cover overhead apparently obscured some of the views.
But the thousands packed in the football stadium at Southern Illinois University seemed pretty pumped as totality approached — and some got glimpses of the astronomical show.
Nashville, Tennessee, was the largest city in the total eclipse’s path.
In New York, people packed Times Square or snagged a spot on the street corner in midtown and around Central Park.
And despite being a partial eclipse, those glasses were extremely hard to come by ahead of the big day.
But it was definitely worth it for those scanning the skies from the city.
In Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump caught show from the White House balcony with First Lady Melania and son Barron.
Though Trump appeared to tempt fate without his special glasses.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross also caught the eclipse from the White House.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Mike Pence caught the show at the U.S. Naval Observatory.
Charleston, South Carolina, got the last look of 2017’s total eclipse at just before 2:50 p.m.
If you missed out, or got screwed by the clouds, there will be another chance to catch the eclipse within the decade. Pencil in April 8, 2024 now, when the path of totality stretches from Texas to Maine.
This is a breaking-news post, and will be updated as more details come in.