Total solar eclipse: where and when it was most visible

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The total solar eclipse that devastated Mexico, the United States and Canada has completed its journey over continental North America.

The last to see the dramatic celestial spectacle were skywatchers located along the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at 5:16 p.m. local time (3:46 p.m. ET).

Mazatlán, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, on Monday became the first city to experience totality. The total eclipse then darkened the skies over Texas, where viewers were able to glimpse stunning views, despite the cloudy weather. Next up were the cities and towns of the US Midwest, with Indianapolis and Cleveland among the places where viewers experienced the thrill of the celestial event.

Those directly on the center line of the path of totality saw an eclipse that lasted between 3 ½ and 4 minutes, according to POT.

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The diamond ring effect is seen when the moon eclipses the sun on Monday in Fort Worth, Texas.

In the US, an estimated 32 million people live within the path of totality and a total solar eclipse was visible to those in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire. and Maine, although the weather threatened to ruin the fun for some.

Only a few isolated clouds were expected in Vermont to Maine, as well as from Missouri to southern Indiana, allowing for optimal viewing of the eclipse. However, much of Texas and the eastern Great Lakes received warnings for less than ideal weather. A partial solar eclipse, in which the Moon appears to take a “bite” into the Sun in the shape of a crescent, was visible to those outside the path of totality.

One Eclipse viewer Richard Canedo, a member of the Planetary Society since 1981, used the cloudy skies in Fredericksburg, Texas, In his favor: He used the cloudy conditions as a makeshift filter to capture the moment of the total eclipse with his handheld camera.

Michael Zeiler/

As the completely eclipsed sun peeked through the clouds in Fredericksburg, Texas, the crowd of hundreds gathered watched more than four minutes of total darkness and let out loud applause and shouts of, “Oh my God!”

At one point, the impressive, glowing ring visible during totality even showed what Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye called a possible prominence.

“It’s magical for everyone,” Nye said from the outdoor event in Texas. “I am very happy to share this with all of you.”

A crowd of thousands also gathered at the only NASA facility that was within the total path of the eclipse: NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, NASA Astronaut Steve Bowen, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Josh Dobbs. and even Snoopy made an appearance, all equipped with eclipse glasses.

For safe viewing, it was important grab a pair of certified eclipse glasses or a solar viewer to look at the skies. The biggest risk of looking at the sun without the dark filter of eclipse glasses or solar viewers is permanent eye damage known as solar retinopathy. This condition may get better or worse over time, but it cannot be treated.

If you notice any symptoms or experience eye discomfort, make an appointment with a healthcare provider immediately. He American Optometric Association Physician Locator It’s a resource that can help, said Ronald Benner, an optometrist and president of the American Optometric Association.

“For most people, it’s a color vision disturbance,” Benner said. “The next morning, the colors just don’t look right, or they may be faded or a little blurry all the time. For others, they may actually have holes in their vision.”

While totality is considered the most exciting part of a total solar eclipse, there were other special phases to take into account before the big moment arrived.

Aside from the weeks and months of anticipation that preceded the eclipse, the longest phase of the event was the partial eclipse, when the moon moved slowly over the sun. This phase lasted 70 to 80 minutes.

But a big sign for viewers was when the sky began to darken and turn an eerie gray color, about 15 to 20 minutes before totality.

Then, several phases happened in rapid succession just before the sunlight completely disappeared from view.

Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Baily beads are a brief phase of the eclipse that occurs just before totality.

Skywatchers watched as blobs of sunlight formed around the moon, known as Baily beads, as sunlight streamed over craters and valleys on the lunar surface. After about 30 seconds to a minute, some of those droplets appeared to merge, creating a sparkling “diamond ring” effect about a minute before totality.

During totality, the luminous glow belongs to the sun’s corona, or hot outer atmosphere, and its faint light is only visible when the sun’s ultra-bright surface is blocked.

While totality is the main event, some points of light were also visible in the sky near the eclipse, belonging to Jupiter, Venus, Mars and the faint light of Saturn.


Look for points of light representing planets visible in the sky during the eclipse.

During the fleeting darkness of the total eclipse, some daytime animals at the zoo were observed preparing for bed, while nocturnal creatures, such as owls and ringtails, began to stir, according to researchers stationed at the Fort Worth Zoo and the Dallas Zoo in Texas. Through citizen projects, the The public was invited to participate. in some of the investigations that took place on Monday.

And during the few moments of totality, local temperatures dropped as low as 9 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas.

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Fernando Llano/AP

Amateur astronomers prepare to observe a total solar eclipse in Mazatlán, Mexico, on Monday.

We still have a little wait for the next celestial spectacle like this one in the United States.

Those who live in Alaska will glimpse a total solar eclipse on March 30, 2033, and a partial solar eclipse will shine over most of the U.S. during that event.

A total solar eclipse will not be visible from the contiguous United States again until August 22, 2044, but totality will only occur over North Dakota and Montana, as well as northern Canada.

The next total solar eclipse with a coast-to-coast path spanning the lower 48 states will occur on August 12, 2045. The path of totality will arc over California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. and Florida, with a partial eclipse visible in other states.

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