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Millions Watched as Historic Solar Eclipse Passed Over America


The first nationwide solar eclipse to visit the U.S. in a century has come and gone. 

Astrophysicists say it was an occasion when we should put down our smartphones and experience an historic event. 

Prior to the eclipse, Nasa scientist Jim Garvin predicted a spectacular sight. 

"This is a once in a century kind of event across the whole United States. It's from Oregon to South Carolina. In the D.C. area we will have blocking of nearly 80% of the sun," he explained. "Night will come around mid-day roughly around 2:42 pm." 

Garvin said it has been nearly 100 years since an eclipse of this magnitude has been seen from the U.S. 

"These are special events that allow us to appreciate how space works," he added. "So, exciting times." 

Garvin warned the eclipse should only be viewed with special sunglasses that are at least 100,000 times darker than your regular sunglasses. 

"You can get them at local science museums, stores, and schools. They are available in some places at NASA centers," he said. 

If you can't find these glasses Gavin suggested some alternative ways to safely view this phenomenon.

"You can also do an indirect experiment by punching a hole in a piece of paper and you can watch by what comes through the hole," he explained.  "You can make a box viewing device where you can look down and see the shadow of the sun being blocked by the moon."

Gavin told us that you will want to keep your eye on some other interesting thing that will pop up during the eclipse. 

"Wearing the glasses or watching the sun under the leaves of trees you will see beautiful patterns," he said. "Little mini suns, little arches. You will be able to watch on a piece of paper on your device indirectly....mother nature making art."

"It just a special transformative event for people to feel the power of these objects in space," Gavin added. 

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