Total solar eclipse is stunning spectacle across North America

Whether you bought American Astronomical Society (AAS) approved ISO solar filtering glasses, created a homemade pinhole projector, or simply decided to hide indoors, if you’re reading this, you have officially made it through the Great North American Eclipse of 2024.

It seems as if early warnings of technical glitches, solar power dips, or cell tower overloads turned out to be a non-issue for the 32 million Americans living within the path of totality, as well as the other 5 million who were said to have traveled to watch the complete event.

For the rest of the nation, it was a slight darkening of skies, some areas more than others depending on weather and cloud coverage.

Eclipse viewer New York City
A woman looks at the start of the eclipse as people gather on the observation deck of Edge at Hudson Yards during a partial solar eclipse in New York City, New York, US, April 8th, 2024. Image by Eduardo Munoz | Reuters.

It seems now the biggest challenge for those lucky enough to witness the eclipse along its trajectory will be avoiding the expected hours-long snarling traffic along the most populated viewing routes.

Here are some images from around the US, taken at some of the many eclipse viewing gatherings held Monday afternoon. The eclipse made its first major North American stop at the Northern Mexican beachside resort city of Mazatlan in the State of Sinaloa.

The path of totality stretched 2,500 miles (4,000 km) from Mexico's Pacific Coast through Texas and across 14 other US states into Canada. The moon's shadow was expected to exit continental North America in Newfoundland.

It took about 80 minutes from the moment the moon first began to cover the sun to the moment of totality, then another 80 minutes to complete the process in reverse.

April 8th, 2024 solar eclipse, Eagle Pass Texas 1
Total solar eclipse seen from Eagle Pass, Texas, US, April 8, 2024. Image by Christian Monterrosa | Reuters.
April 8th, 2024 solar eclipse, Eagle Pass Texas. 2
Partial solar eclipse seen from Eagle Pass, Texas, US, April 8, 2024. Image by Christian Monterrosa | Reuters.

The last remaining bit of brilliant sunlight before totality creates a "diamond ring effect" in which a single bright spot appears along the lunar edge even as the sun's corona leaves a ring of light around the moon.

"Even cloudy eclipses are amazing," Facebook user Heather Fagans posted along with a stunning image taken from Niagara-on-the-Lake, in southern Ontario province, Canada.

Eclipse April 8th Niagara on the Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, April 8, 2024. Image by Heather Fagans.
Eclipse April 8th Niagara Falls, New York
The moon partially eclipses the sun and people look to the sky ahead of the total solar eclipse. Niagara Falls, New York, US, April 8, 2024. Images by Brendan McDermid | Reuters.

A partial eclipse, in which the moon obscures only a portion of the sun, was visible, weather permitting, across most of the continental United States, outside the path of totality.

In New York City, 'eclipsers' gathered atop the 100th story observation deck of the Edge at Hudson Yards, considered the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere.

Eclipse April 8th, nyc partial
A partial solar eclipse is seen from New York City, US, April 8, 2024. Image by Andrew Kelly | Reuters.
Eclipse April 8th, nyc crowds
People gather on the observation deck of Edge at Hudson Yards and Times Square in New York City, US April 8, 2024. Images by Eduardo Munoz | Shannon Stapleton | Reuters.

A rare occurrence, the last total solar eclipse in the US took place on August 21st, 2017. Folks will now have to wait another 20 years – until August 23rd, 2044 – for the next total eclipse to pass over the US.

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