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Solar eclipse 2024: Highlights and key moments

Solar eclipse 2024: Highlights and key moments

Across North America, people were wowed by a total solar eclipse. AP Writer Marcia Dunn explains why Monday’s eclipse is particularly special.

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The AP’s live coverage of the eclipse has ended, but there’s plenty to catch up on. See what you missed below and read the latest updates.

A total solar eclipse crossed North America on Monday, slicing a diagonal line from the southwest to the northeast, briefly plunging communities in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada along the track into darkness.

Here’s what to know:

 
When’s the next total solar eclipse?
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Full solar eclipses occur every year or two or three, but they are often in places where almost no one can see them — over the Pacific Ocean or Antarctica.

The next total solar eclipse, in 2026, will grace the northern fringes of Greenland, Iceland and Spain. Another sweeps across northern Africa in 2027.

North America won’t experience totality again until 2033, but only in Alaska. That’s it until 2044, when totality will be confined to western Canada, Montana and North Dakota.

The next big one for the U.S. is in 2045. That one will stretch from Northern California all the way to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

 
WATCH: NASA astrophysicist reacts to the total solar eclipse
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NASA astrophysicist Anjali Tripathi shares what we can learn about the solar system during the total solar eclipse.

 
Here’s how zoo animals reacted to the total solar eclipse
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Pink flamingos move around their enclosure at the Fort Worth Zoo during a solar eclipse Monday, April 8, 2024, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Pink flamingos move around their enclosure at the Fort Worth Zoo during a solar eclipse Monday, April 8, 2024, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A gorilla sits in an enclosure as the sun returns at the Fort Worth Zoo after a total solar eclipse Monday, April 8, 2024, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A gorilla sits in an enclosure as the sun returns at the Fort Worth Zoo after a total solar eclipse Monday, April 8, 2024, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A researcher observing animals at the Fort Worth Zoo during totality said some seemed extra vigilant.

That included a rambunctious young male gorilla that stood on a pole while being quite active.

Most animals remained relatively calm during totality and many moved to where they are put away for the evening.

“In general, everybody was really well adjusted. Nobody was doing sort of bonkers behavior,” said Adam Hartstone-Rose, a researcher from North Carolina State University who came with a team to Texas for the eclipse.

He said in past eclipses, giraffes galloped. This time, the giraffes gathered more, but weren’t stressed out.

 
What should I do with my eclipse glasses now?
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A person wears protective glasses as they gather to watch as the moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse as seen from the National Mall in Washington, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

A person wears protective glasses as they gather to watch as the moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse as seen from the National Mall in Washington, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Eye safety experts say you can reuse eclipse glasses for another solar spectacle as long as they aren’t warped and don’t have scratches or holes.

Legitimate glasses should block out ultraviolet light from the sun and nearly all visible light.

Eye damage can occur without proper protection. Symptoms of solar eye damage, called solar retinopathy, include blurred vision and color distortion.

 
After the eclipse comes the traffic
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A vehicle with Oklahoma license plates has writing on the rear window that reads, "Totality or Bust", at a total solar eclipse watching event in Paris, Texas, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

A vehicle with Oklahoma license plates has writing on the rear window that reads, “Totality or Bust”, at a total solar eclipse watching event in Paris, Texas, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Traffic is slow in some places that experienced today’s total solar eclipse.

Interstate 65 in southern Indiana is moving very slowly as people make their way back from eclipse viewing.

Meanwhile, traffic near Paducah, Kentucky, came to a crawl as thousands of people crossed the Ohio River. Drivers going eastbound on I-24 were traveling at speeds of 15 mph or less just after 4 p.m. EDT.

The story is similar in upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. Interstates 87, 89 91 and 93 all have slowdowns in their southbound lanes.

 
IN PHOTOS: Total solar eclipse sweeps across North America
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▶ See the AP’s total eclipse photo gallery.

 
Rewatch the eclipse cross over North America
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Appreciating a partial eclipse on the Mississippi River
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(AP Photo/Michael Phillis)

(AP Photo/Michael Phillis)

ST. LOUIS – Aboard the Tom Sawyer, an old-fashioned paddlewheel riverboat on the Mississippi River, a crew member announced that the height of the eclipse was just minutes away.

The crowd quieted; some adjusted their solar eclipse glasses. Everyone looked up.

Just after 2 p.m., they saw an eclipse that wasn’t quite total.

The sky darkened and looked like dusk. The arch of the sun slimmed and shifted, but never fully vanished.

“It was beautiful. I almost think I enjoyed it a little bit more because it didn’t go black,” said Jeff Smith, 60, of St. Louis. “You could see the ring move all the way around the entire time.”

 
Eclipse brings out deep emotions
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COLEBROOK, New Hampshire – Holly Randall said experiencing the eclipse had been beyond her expectations.

“I didn’t expect to cry when I saw it,” she said, as tears ran down her face.

It had made her think about fundamental aspects of the universe.

“The power of the sun, and life,” she said. “And us, humankind, here on this planet, and how grateful we can be to have this energy source.”

Holly Randall drove up from Rockport, Massachusetts to watch the eclipse. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

Holly Randall drove up from Rockport, Massachusetts to watch the eclipse. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

 
Crowds along Mazatlán’s waterfront celebrate after totality
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MAZATLAN, Mexico — After totality passed and the sky brightened again, crowds gathered along the waterfront hugged and kissed.

Joan Albert and his wife Ana Carolina Ruiz Fernández, marine scientists who lived and worked in the city, embraced each other.

“There wouldn’t be life if it weren’t for the sun,” Albert said.

Totality was “spectacular, very emotional,” added Ruiz Fernández.

The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse, as seen from Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse, as seen from Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
A woman uses special glasses to watch the total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
A woman uses special glasses to watch the total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

 
Clouds blanket downtown Philadelphia at moment of maximum coverage
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PHILADELPHIA – Clouds blanketed the skies around 3:23 p.m. when maximum solar coverage was meant to begin in Philadelphia.

But Spencer Symula was all smiles.

“Obviously I am a little disappointed, but you see all the people out here and think, you know, it’s really something special,” he said. He was viewing the eclipse with people from the United Kingdom and Latin America.

“I think post-COVID we are all so eager to get together and do stuff,” said Symula. “I’m really happy I got to do this.”

Symula came prepared with a camera and said he got some good shots of the partial eclipse earlier before the clouds moved in.

About a half-hour later, the clouds shifted and the partial eclipse was again viewable.

 
Teacher pleased by celebration of astronomy
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WASHINGTON – A cheer went up from a crowd of a few thousand onlookers on the National Mall as the eclipse reached its maximum extent – about 87% – in the nation’s capital.

Through eclipse glasses, only a sliver of the sun remained visible behind the moon.

“This is a great event for students and a great celebration of astronomy,” said Denise Wright, an astronomy teacher from Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Crispin Burke, of Washington, D.C., added, “I really enjoyed seeing a partial eclipse, but it really makes you want to see totality.”

Denise Wright, wearing an “Astronomy teacher” shirt, and Crispin Burke watch the partial eclipse on the National Mall. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

Denise Wright, wearing an “Astronomy teacher” shirt, and Crispin Burke watch the partial eclipse on the National Mall. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

 
Total solar eclipse exits North America
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The sun is reappearing from behind the moon as the total solar eclipse leaves North America.

There won’t be another coast-to-coast spectacle on the continent until 2045.

 
Jupiter and Venus visible during totality
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VIENNA, Illinois – Hundreds of people at Shawnee National Forest erupted into cheers as darkness fell over a campground.

Temperatures dropped several degrees. Birds chirped and frogs croaked. And planets including Jupiter and Venus were visible during the
more than 3 minutes of totality.

(AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

(AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

Thick clouds cleared out late morning and mostly sunny skies turned to dusk during the eclipse. Rangers passed out eclipse glasses to
visitors.

Thousands of people watched the eclipse from this area in southern Illinois.

 
Cleveland visitor feels the chill
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CLEVELAND – Kindergarten teacher Tara Rossetti can’t wait to get back to her students in Palm Bay, Florida, to tell them about the eclipse.

She and her friends joined the throngs outside the Great Lakes Science Center to see the eclipse under hazy skies. She’s going to tell them: “How cool it was. Literally, it got cooler!”

Next up for Rosetti and her friends: the Cleveland Guardian’s first home game of the season.

Aaron Pratt also traveled to Cleveland to see his second eclipse - he saw the 2017 eclipse in South Carolina.

“It got really dark, really fast,” said Pratt, who lives in the Washington area. “I’m blown away!”

 
Jeers, then cheers in Washington
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WASHINGTON – Hundreds of White House staffers and security personnel watched the eclipse from around the complex, including some staffers catching a glimpse of the partial eclipse from the roof of the executive mansion.

Some jeers and boos could be heard when clouds briefly obscured the partial eclipse, but cheers erupted when the sky cleared up enough to see it.

President Joe Biden was seen holding eclipse glasses in his hand as he boarded Air Force One in Madison, Wisconsin, where he was traveling Monday, though it was not clear if he took it in.

 
Golfers watch the show at Augusta National
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AUGUSTA, Georgia – Golfers at Augusta National got a pretty good show of the solar eclipse on Monday.

Georgia was not in the path of totality, but the sun was shining brightly and there was nary a cloud in the sky during practice rounds for the Masters – ideal conditions to watch the moon cast at least part of the course in shadow.

“This is timing up pretty good,” said British Open champion Brian Harman, who was playing the back nine during the height of the eclipse. “Get to watch the end of the world at Augusta National.”

Tournament organizers handed out eclipse glasses to patrons. The shades even carried the Masters logo, making for a unique souvenir.

“I was talking to my daughter and you can make one out of cereal box,” said Luke List, who practiced early and was planning to watch the eclipse elsewhere with his family. “So she’ll probably use that over the cool Masters glasses.”

 
A small moment for the universe, but monumental for one viewer
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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Crowds on the balcony of the Clinton presidential library and in the surrounding park cheered and clapped as the eclipse reached totality.

Crowds gathered on the balcony of the Clinton presidential library and in the surrounding park cheered as the eclipse reached totality.  (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

Crowds gathered on the balcony of the Clinton presidential library and in the surrounding park cheered as the eclipse reached totality. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

The visitors included Denise Taylor, who traveled from Denver with her sister to see the eclipse at the library. Taylor, who works for the town of Bennett, said the library was the eighth presidential library she’s visited.

“It’s so surreal and now the day is going on like nothing happened,” Taylor said. “In the universe, this was such a small thing. To me, it was monumental.”

Taylor said the eclipse was even more special since it combined with her love of presidential libraries.

“I totally get how people can become eclipse chasers,” she said.

 
WATCH: Gorillas react to totality at the Fort Worth Zoo
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Watch Gorillas react to totality at the Fort Worth Zoo. CREDIT: (AP Video/Jamie Stengle)

 
Clouds part just in time near Austin, Texas
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GEORGETOWN, Texas – “I will never unsee this,” said Ahmed Husseim of Austin, who had the eclipse on his calendar for a year.

Husseim and his family were among hundreds who gathered on the lawn of Southwestern University, north of the Texas capital city of Austin, with blankets, lawn chairs and country music to experience the total eclipse.

(AP Photo/Acacia Coronado)

(AP Photo/Acacia Coronado)

Fears of missing the astronomical event were put to rest when skies cleared moments before totality and remained cloudless until the eclipse continued on its path.

“It was unreal, taking off the glasses and not sure what to expect but when you look at it, it was like out of a movie,” said Michael Islas, a junior at the university.

 
‘What a sight’ in Texas
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The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse, as seen below a cross atop the New Sweden Evangelical Lutheran Church steeple Monday, April 8, 2024, in Manor, Texas. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse, as seen below a cross atop the New Sweden Evangelical Lutheran Church steeple Monday, April 8, 2024, in Manor, Texas. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

MESQUITE, Texas – Just east of Dallas, the hundreds gathered at Mesquite’s Front Street Station cheered and whistled as the clouds parted in the final minutes before totality.

As the sun finally became cloaked, the crowd grew louder. They whipped off their eclipse glasses to soak in the unforgettable view of the sun’s corona, or spiky outer atmosphere, and Venus shining brilliantly off to the right.

DJ Jesse Navarette turned off his eclipse-themed music as the big moment approached.

“Wow, what a sight to witness, you all,” he told the crowd.

Aiyana Brown, 14, watched alongside her grandfather, Mesquite Mayor Daniel Aleman Jr.

“Oh God, it’s so dark,” Aiyana marveled.

 
Dallas students elated by eclipse
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Clouds cover the sky prior to a total solar eclipse, Monday, April 8, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Clouds cover the sky prior to a total solar eclipse, Monday, April 8, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

DALLAS – Emergency lights clicked on outside D.A. Hulcy Middle School as the last sliver of the sun disappeared. Students cheered and whooped, sitting on towels and picnic blankets in an adjacent parking lot.

“I’m a new person,” eighth grader Nia Modkins said.

Students and teachers took off their eclipse glasses and pointed at the sky, taking pictures and videos. Once three minutes elapsed, their teachers told them to put their eclipse glasses back on as the sun prepared for its return act.

Once daylight swept over the parking lot again, eighth grader Sky Johnson swiped through her phone, looking for the video she’d taken during totality.

“Two minutes of me screaming, literally,” she said.

 
Indianapolis resident experiences eclipse with help of Braille device
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INDIANAPOLIS – Fallon Vahani moved her fingertips over a Braille tablet reader as the moon passed slowly in front of the sun.

The 44-year-old Indianapolis resident, blind from birth, visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to try the tablets after listening to a radio broadcast of the 2017 eclipse.

Fallon Vahani follows the path of the eclipse on April 8, 2024 using a Braille reader designed by Tactile Engineering. (AP Photo/Tom Murphy)

Fallon Vahani follows the path of the eclipse on April 8, 2024 using a Braille reader designed by Tactile Engineering. (AP Photo/Tom Murphy)

She stood at a table in a race car garage with her hands on the tablet, as thousands of people outside stared at the sky. Small plastic bumps pulsed underneath her fingers, tracing the moon’s path.

“I was very excited when I could finally understand what everyone else was talking about,” she said.

 
WATCH: Day turns to night during the total solar eclipse
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A total solar eclipse has reached North America over Mexico as throngs gather along the country’s Pacific coast. Watch with onlookers in Mazatlan, Mexico.

 
Spectators luck out near Austin, Texas, as clouds part
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GEORGETOWN, Texas — Hundreds of people gathered on the Southwestern University lawn cheered when the skies cleared just in time to give spectators a clear view of totality.

“We are really lucky,” said resident Susan Robertson. “Even with the clouds, it is kind of nice because when it clears up, it is like wow.”

 
Feeling a sense of community in Indiana
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SCOTTSBURG, Indiana – Colby Reed and his partner Adam Johnston consulted a NASA map before driving hours to this small city.

“It was the closest place for totality coming from Nashville,” said Reed, 27, sitting with Johnston as the moon started its slow trek in front of the sun.

Colby Reed, right, and Adam Johnston came from Nashville to Scottsburg, Indiana, for the eclipse. (AP Photo/Laura Ungar)

Colby Reed, right, and Adam Johnston came from Nashville to Scottsburg, Indiana, for the eclipse. (AP Photo/Laura Ungar)

Looking around them at the relatively sparse crowd, they said they’re glad they wound up here because they could feel a sense of community.

Reed said he’s glad totality cut through this region, quipping, “It’s middle America’s chance to shine.”

Johnston cut in, looking up at the sky as a sliver of moon covered the sun: “…And then not shine.”

 
Seizing a chance to see a spectacle at age 76
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COLEBROOK, N.H. – Don Hall and his daughter, Casey, left from New York’s Hudson Valley at 3:30 a.m. and headed to northern New Hampshire based on the clear skies promised in weather reports.

They weren’t disappointed as they arrived to sunny skies and one of the warmest days of the year in New England.

Don Hall said he loved taking road trips with Casey.

“I’m as excited about seeing the eclipse as I am being able to spend time with my daughter,” he said.

He said he’d never seen an eclipse.

“I’m 76, so it’s time,” he said. “I doubt I’ll have another opportunity.”

 
Total solar eclipse reaches U.S. on way to Canada
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The moon’s shadow has moved into the U.S. with cloudy skies in store for a part of the total eclipse path from Texas to Maine.

The eclipse cuts through major cities including Dallas; Austin, Texas; Indianapolis; Cleveland; and Niagara Falls, New York.

 
Air and Space Museum lets viewers see sun up close, safely
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WASHINGTON – A few dozen people are waiting in line on the National Mall to stare straight at the sun through a special telescope provided by the National Air and Space Museum.

The instrument – a safe Hydrogen-alpha light telescope – makes it possible to closely scrutinize the glowing orb and see the loops of cooler, denser gas that arise from the sun’s surface, called “prominences.”

Kayla Pate and her 4-year-old daughter, Amallah Lewis, peer through the lens of a special telescope provided by the National Air and Space Museum. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

Kayla Pate and her 4-year-old daughter, Amallah Lewis, peer through the lens of a special telescope provided by the National Air and Space Museum. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

“Oh wow,” says Kayla Pate from Hyattsville, Maryland, once she and her 4-year-old daughter, Amallah Lewis, made it to the front of the line to peer through the lens.

“We won’t see a total eclipse here, but we can still learn a lot,” said Pate, smiling at her daughter. “I really hope she’ll remember this.”

 
Planning for eclipse began more than a year ago in Oklahoma
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BROKEN BOW, Oklahoma – The state’s secretary of tourism, is watching the eclipse from a lodge at Beavers Bend State Park in far southeast Oklahoma, which is in the path of the total eclipse.

Shelley Zumwalt said state officials began planning for the eclipse more than a year ago and brought in extra police and park rangers to McCurtain County, the population of which is expected to double due to visitors to the area.

“It’s really cool to see people lined up to experience something in nature,” Zumwalt said.

Zumwalt said visitors were hopeful cloud cover would burn off in time for the eclipse.

“We’re crossing our fingers and hoping,” she said. “Either way, it’s going to be dark for four minutes.”

 
COVID derails travel plans to totality path
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ST. LOUIS — Colleen Devine and her husband planned to drive from their home in the suburbs of Chicago to Carbondale, Illinois, to watch the total eclipse.

But COVID-19 upended travel plans. “I didn’t want to deal with the traffic and the crowds,” Devine said.

Devine has recovered, but instead of heading south, the couple walked across the street from their hotel to the lawn near the Gateway Arch. Under a mostly blue sky, they’ll witness a nearly full eclipse.

“It won’t totally be in the path of totality but close enough,” she said.

Colleen Devine (left), 63, and her husband Mark, 64, sit on the lawn near the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to watch the eclipse on April 8. (AP Photo/Michael Phillis)

Colleen Devine (left), 63, and her husband Mark, 64, sit on the lawn near the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to watch the eclipse on April 8. (AP Photo/Michael Phillis)

 
Beaches grow dark in Mexico
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MAZATLAN, Mexico – Mazatlan’s sparkling beaches have been cast into darkness as the total solar eclipse reaches its maximum coverage.

Hundreds of gathered faces were illuminated only by the screens of their cell phones as they tried to capture the slightly more than 4 minutes of totality.

Palm trees were silhouetted against a faint glow near the horizon like one of the resort’s famous sunsets, but coming before noon.

People watch a total solar eclipse as the sky goes dark in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

People watch a total solar eclipse as the sky goes dark in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Karen Ibarra, of Colombia, is a researcher at Mexico’s National Autonomous University. She came to Mazatlan for the eclipse.

As darkness blanketed the coast she said, “seeing the corona is the best.”

 
In Philadelphia, ‘sharing an experience with humanity’
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PHILADELPHIA – Harris Pham, 27, rearranged his work schedule and traveled from suburban Lansdale to view the eclipse at the steps of the Franklin Institute, a science museum.

“I could have easily saw it, like, at the park. But I think just being with the community … it feels like you’re sharing an experience with humanity,” Pham said.

Hundreds gathered outside of the museum that was hosting a free viewing party.

Philadelphia is expected to see at least 85% totality as the moon passes over the sun. The Erie area, which is at the opposite corner of Pennsylvania, was awaiting a peek at totality.

 
Seizing the day in Indiana
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RUSHVILLE, Indiana – The crowd briefly hushed as the eclipse began in Riverside Park in Rushville.

One spectator shouted: “This is the last time I’ll see this in my lifetime!”

Cars parked nearby in this small town of approximately 6,000 people are from Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, Kentucky, New York and Michigan.

Rushville is in the path of totality and is expected to get about 4 minutes of darkness during the full eclipse.

 
IN PHOTOS: Solar eclipse reaches totality over Mexico
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Anticipation after a science lesson
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DALLAS – Mia Baker, an eighth-grader at D. A. Hulcy Middle School, rolled a white knob of clay into a ball and attached it to a wooden stick. When her teacher, Tamara Thomas, turned off the lights, she and her classmates held up their “moons” and tried to cover the “sun”: a yellow lantern dangling from the ceiling.

Over the course of the day, students participated in a variety of eclipse-themed lessons. They drew timelines to explore the history of solar eclipses and colored in the spectacle’s path on cardstock.

When Baker held up her clay moon to model the eclipse, she was reminded of the phases of the moon, which she’d recently reviewed in science class.

“But it’s going to look better in person,” she said. “I’m ready to see it.”

 
Total solar eclipse makes landfall in North America over Mexico
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A total solar eclipse has reached North America over Mexico as throngs gather along the country’s Pacific coast. It’ll race toward United States and eastern Canada before exiting into the Atlantic.

People use special glasses to watch a total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

People use special glasses to watch a total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

 
Texas city officials cheer peeks of sun
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MESQUITE, Texas – City officials cheered as the thick clouds parted in early afternoon and the sun peeked out.

“We special ordered the sun this morning,” said downtown development manager Beverly Abell.

Hundreds gathered at Front Street Station for the outdoor watch party, many pulling out their eclipse glasses to watch the moon’s bite out of the sun grow ever bigger.

Heads tilted upward as DJ music blared from speakers, everyone hoping the sky would clear even more before darkness hit.

 
Spectators gather on National Mall
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WASHINGTON – Janice Nozka and her three children – ages 11, 7, and 3 – picked up their eclipse glasses from a table outside the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall.

“This is a really special day, and I know it’s not going to happen again while all my children are still at home,” said Nozka, who is from Burke, Virginia.

Janice Nozka and her three children picked up their eclipse glasses from a table outside the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

Janice Nozka and her three children picked up their eclipse glasses from a table outside the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

She brought her children here to experience the partial eclipse together as a family this afternoon, after spending the morning at the space museum.

“I’m very excited, I’ve never seen anything like a solar eclipse before,” said Alina, 11, smiling broadly as she unfolded her new glasses.

The district has a chance at seeing more than 87% of the sun covered later this afternoon.

 
IN PHOTOS: Crowds gather awaiting eclipse across North America
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Kentucky 8-year-old says it’s her first eclipse
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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – Jadiee Cesin, 8, and her family were among those set up with blankets and chairs at Waterfront Park under mostly sunny skies in downtown Louisville.

Kentucky’s largest city wasn’t in the path of totality but was in line to see 99 percent of the sun covered by the moon.

Jadiee said she learned about the eclipse in school and was hoping to get a good view at the park.

“It’s my first time,” she said about seeing an eclipse.

Meanwhile, a science-themed street fair in downtown Paducah, which was also in the path of the 2017 total eclipse, offered people a place to gather and see totality that lasted more than 90 seconds.

 
Clouds clear in Illinois
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VIENNA, Illinois – At the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, thick clouds cleared late this morning as dozens of people gathered
at the Hidden Springs Ranger Station.

The national forest is in the path of totality and will experience just over four minutes of darkness.

Thousands of people are expected to watch the eclipse from this area, a park official said.

(AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

(AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

 
Cheers in Mexico as moon begins passing over sun
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The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

MAZATLAN, Mexico – Cheers broke out along the beach in this resort city as the moon began to pass over the sun.

Hundreds in a beachside park had passed the waiting time by readying their equipment and listening to a youth orchestra play Star Wars songs while a large screen projected images of Princess Leia behind them.

Luz Elena Aguillón de la O sat in the grass with a group of 14 family and friends who had gathered from Mexico City, Guanajuato and right here in Mazatlan to take in the spectacle.

“Happy to be here with family, friends sharing a singular, unrepeatable event that the universe and nature give us,” she said.

 
It’ll still be phenomenal if it’s cloudy, one spectator says
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GEORGETOWN, Texas – Tracy Bedell, from Katy, Texas, and Terri Pagani, from Atlanta, arrived in Georgetown yesterday after a year of planning their path to totality.

Relaxing on a lawn at Southwestern University, Bedell said she saw a total eclipse in 2017 and was determined to catch the next one. They began researching cities and hotel availability in June.

“It is still going to get dark,” Bedell said as she looked up at the shifting clouds. “It is still going to be phenomenal.”

University students were enjoying a day without classes as heavy clouds took turns with the sun.

“If it rains, it rains,” said Chloe Mayfield, a Southwestern senior. “Rain or shine, baby we are out here.”

 
For one parent, the eclipse is ‘a better education than being in the classroom’
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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vermont – Pratik Koirala, a microbiology researcher from Brighton, Massachusetts, was in college in Kansas during the 2017 eclipse, but it was cloudy.

“I saw the darkness, but not the sun,” he said. “Now I want to see the sun.”

He and several relatives drove more than two hours to a grassy bank along the Passumpsic River in this town of about 7,000. He’s got a good chance — the sky is cloudless.

Sassee Niraula, a nurse and Koirala’s wife, was in Nepal in 2009 when an eclipse created 7 minutes of totality. Niraula, now 30, says she was too young then to fully appreciate it, so she’s back.

Nirmal Nepal, Koirala’s uncle, and Nepal’s wife, Sassee, took their two sons, ages 15 and 12, out of school for the day.

“It’s a better education than being in the classroom,” said Nirmal Nepal, of Needham, Massachusetts.

 
Pair of friends expect to be amazed in Arkansas
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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Rose Hopper and Karen Thomas are among the visitors who grabbed spots in the park outside the Clinton presidential library to view the eclipse.

The friends traveled more than four hours from central Mississippi and decided to watch the eclipse at the city park outside the museum.

“It’s one thing to see it on TV. It’s a whole other thing to see God’s glory like that,” Hopper said. “I think it’s going to be spectacular.”

The two remained hopeful that the mostly clear sky would hold up.

“I’m just going to expect the best and see the whole thing,” Thomas said.