Solar eclipse 2017: The day America went dark

A total solar eclipse has wowed the US

22 August 2017, 9:33am
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump saw a partial eclipse in Washington DC (Photo: AFP)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump saw a partial eclipse in Washington DC (Photo: AFP)
A huge shadow cast by the moon as it passed in front of the sun swept across the nation, from Oregon in the west to South Carolina in the east.

Millions of people moved to get into the path of darkness, putting on their protective glasses to gaze at the sky in wonder.

It was the first total solar eclipse visible from America’s lower 48 states in 38 years, and the first since 1918 to track from coast to coast.

Skywatchers gathered at coastal beaches and towns witnessed the Sun’s disc being completely obscured by the Moon for two minutes.

Just before and just after “totality”, they also got to see some of the classic features of a full solar eclipse.

These included Baily’s beads, which arise as the last shafts of sunlight drive through valleys on the Moon; and the Diamond Ring, which is the single brilliant point of light that signals the beginning and end of totality.

From Oregon, the eclipse shadow raced through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It was a journey that took roughly 90 minutes.