SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hundreds of millions of Americans donned protective glasses and craned their necks to the sky to watch the first solar eclipse to sweep the nation from coast to coast in nearly 100 years.
The path of totality ran from Oregon to South Carolina, but anyone in the lower 48 was able to enjoy a partial eclipse.
The cosmic spectacle brought out thousands across the Sacramento region. Some were prepared with eclipse sunglasses, while others turned to utensils.
“I went to the NASA website, and it suggested a colander or a cheese grater, so here we are!” said another eclipse viewer.
Each one walked away witnessing a once in a lifetime phenomenon. From the State Capitol to Davis and back down to Stockton, the partial eclipse views were crystal clear, but they weren’t even the best seats in the house. Millions flocked to other states across the U.S., along the path of totality.
Day turned to night as the Moon first blotted out the sun, and threw some serious shade on baseball fans in Salem, Oregon.
“Oh, it was amazingly beautiful. I had no idea you could take your glasses off and see these hazes and glows and diamonds. It was spiritual.”
The sun’s outermost layer- the corona- was exposed and later came a diamond ring effect. It was a sight so breathtaking, it brought some to tears.
“It was so moving, I don’t know tears just started streaming. It was really amazing. It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen.”
That sentiment was shared by many.
Eclipse watcher Shelly Smith said, “I’m so emotional. This is a once in a lifetime experience.”
An experience that brought strangers of all walks of life together — across the country — to celebrate the moon’s day in the sun.
The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be in 2024. The next coast-to-coast one will be in 2045.