Photos: US dazzled by once in a lifetime total solar eclipse

NASA reported 4.4 million people were watching its TV coverage midway through the total solar eclipse. Thousands of people took to the streets in what turned out to be a celestial festival across America.

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST 12 Photos
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The moon blacked out the sun on Monday as the first coast to coast total solar eclipse in the United States in nearly a century began over the West Coast with millions of Americans looking skyward in wonder through protective glasses, telescopes and cameras. The solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun. The blackest part of the shadow, known as totality began over Lincoln Beach, Oregon. (Gene Blevins/AFP)

The moon blacked out the sun on Monday as the first coast to coast total solar eclipse in the United States in nearly a century began over the West Coast with millions of Americans looking skyward in wonder through protective glasses, telescopes and cameras. The solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun. The blackest part of the shadow, known as totality began over Lincoln Beach, Oregon. (Gene Blevins/AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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U.S. President Donald Trump looks up towards the solar eclipse without his protective glasses along with his wife Melania and son Barron at the White House in Washington U.S.The rare cosmic event was expected to draw one of the largest audiences in human history. (REUTERS)

U.S. President Donald Trump looks up towards the solar eclipse without his protective glasses along with his wife Melania and son Barron at the White House in Washington U.S.The rare cosmic event was expected to draw one of the largest audiences in human history. (REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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Silhouette of the International Space Station is seen as it transits the sun during a partial solar eclipse in US. (REUTERS)

Silhouette of the International Space Station is seen as it transits the sun during a partial solar eclipse in US. (REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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It took almost 90 minutes for the shadow of the moon to travel across the country.The path of totality, where the sun was 100 percent obscured by the moon was just 60 to 70 miles wide while the rest of North America was treated to a partial solar eclipse. (Jamie Squire/AFP)

It took almost 90 minutes for the shadow of the moon to travel across the country.The path of totality, where the sun was 100 percent obscured by the moon was just 60 to 70 miles wide while the rest of North America was treated to a partial solar eclipse. (Jamie Squire/AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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A composite photo shows a portion of the phases of the total solar eclipse. NASA reported 4.4 million people were watching its TV coverage midway through the eclipse, the biggest livestream event in the space agency’s history.NASA solar physicist Alex Young said the last time earthlings had a connection like this to the heavens was during man’s first flight to the moon on Apollo 8 in 1968. (Rob Kerr/AFP)

A composite photo shows a portion of the phases of the total solar eclipse. NASA reported 4.4 million people were watching its TV coverage midway through the eclipse, the biggest livestream event in the space agency’s history.NASA solar physicist Alex Young said the last time earthlings had a connection like this to the heavens was during man’s first flight to the moon on Apollo 8 in 1968. (Rob Kerr/AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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As millions of people across the United States experienced a total eclipse as the umbra, or moon’s shadow passed over them, only six people witnessed the umbra from space. The space station crossed the path of the eclipse three times as it orbited above the continental United States at an altitude of 250 miles. (NASA)

As millions of people across the United States experienced a total eclipse as the umbra, or moon’s shadow passed over them, only six people witnessed the umbra from space. The space station crossed the path of the eclipse three times as it orbited above the continental United States at an altitude of 250 miles. (NASA)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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The moon hasn’t thrown this much shade at the U.S since 1918 during the nation’s last coast to coast total eclipse. The last total solar eclipse on the U.S. was in 1979, but only five states in the Northwest experienced total darkness. (Alexandre Meneghini/REUTERS)

The moon hasn’t thrown this much shade at the U.S since 1918 during the nation’s last coast to coast total eclipse. The last total solar eclipse on the U.S. was in 1979, but only five states in the Northwest experienced total darkness. (Alexandre Meneghini/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be in 2024 while the next coast to coast one will not be until 2045. (George Frey/AFP)

The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be in 2024 while the next coast to coast one will not be until 2045. (George Frey/AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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A student looks at solar eclipse on a box in Managua, Nicaragua. A number of towns within the total eclipse’s path set up viewing parties. At the Southern Illinois University campus in Carbondale, Illinois, the 15,000 seat football stadium was sold out for Monday. (Oswaldo Rivas/REUTERS)

A student looks at solar eclipse on a box in Managua, Nicaragua. A number of towns within the total eclipse’s path set up viewing parties. At the Southern Illinois University campus in Carbondale, Illinois, the 15,000 seat football stadium was sold out for Monday. (Oswaldo Rivas/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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The last glimmer of sun gives way to a momentary sparkle known as the ‘diamond ring’ effect just before the sun slips completely behind the moon, leaving only the aura of its outer atmosphere, or corona visible.The corona, lasting just two minutes marks the peak phase of totality and the only stage of the eclipse safe to view with the naked eye. (Scott Olson/AFP)

The last glimmer of sun gives way to a momentary sparkle known as the ‘diamond ring’ effect just before the sun slips completely behind the moon, leaving only the aura of its outer atmosphere, or corona visible.The corona, lasting just two minutes marks the peak phase of totality and the only stage of the eclipse safe to view with the naked eye. (Scott Olson/AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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People watch the solar eclipse from Madison Square in midtown Manhattan in New York City. (Brendan McDermid/REUTERS)

People watch the solar eclipse from Madison Square in midtown Manhattan in New York City. (Brendan McDermid/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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Citizen scientists monitored animal and plant behavior as day turned into twilight. About 7,000 people streamed into the Nashville Zoo just to watch the animals’ reaction as it got darker. (David Goldman/AP)

Citizen scientists monitored animal and plant behavior as day turned into twilight. About 7,000 people streamed into the Nashville Zoo just to watch the animals’ reaction as it got darker. (David Goldman/AP)

UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2017 10:55 AM IST
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