The sky darkened. The temperature dropped.
And suddenly, where the sun should have been was instead a black circle surrounded by a halo of light — a gleaming diamond ring in
The total eclipse hit the tiny coastal town of Newport, Ore., at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Time, stunning the crowd that gathered on its beach into a eery, brief silence
Then, came an avalanche of whoops, cheers and whistles.
Visibly glowing in the darkness was the sun’s corona — a beautiful halo of writhing exceedingly hot gas — normally invisible, now suddenly and beautifully on display.
From there, the shadow of the total eclipse zipped East across America at the screaming speed of 2,100 mph. It traversed a 3,000-mile path, cutting through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and finally disappeared off the coast of Charleston, S.C. at 2:49 p.m. Eastern time.
The whole thing — the wonder, beauty, craning of necks and searching of souls — was over from coast to coast in just 90 minutes.