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This Week at NASA: The Epic Solar Eclipse and More

30 August 2017, 02:06 | Hattie Nash

Mother of all photobombs? Twitter erupts as space station sneaks into snap of the eclipse

NASA just recorded the International Space Station flying in front of the solar eclipse

Thousands flocked to Missouri on Monday to see the first total eclipse in the U.S.in 40 years.

For those of us who were fortunate enough to experience the eclipse in its path of totality - many of whom traveled to our west or south, some for hours or even days - it was a spectacle that induced a sense of awe, a fleeting vision of otherworldly beauty that quickly became a shared communal moment.

People near the area of totality of the Great American Eclipse were treated to an wonderful sight on Monday, as the sky was engulfed in total darkness.

"The Great American Eclipse" - they occur roughly once every 18 months, but this one was notable for crossing the country from OR to SC - was fun and exciting. A video submitted to WHSV by Patrick Flanagan, showing a timelapse of the eclipse over Silver Lake, can also be watched above.

Transit of the International Space Station across the partial eclipsed sun, August 21, 2017.

"It was a lot of fun seeing everyone get behind something like that", said Sierra Silverwood '18, who watched the solar event from just outside the Joe Rosenfield Center. When looking through the glasses without staring at the sun, the wearer sees nothing but gray.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon, in its orbit around the Earth, passes between the Earth and the sun, thus blocking our view of the sun. Often this line of totality is in locations uninhabited and very hard to reach.

People of all ages marveled as the live stream showed the moon just start to creep in front of the sun.

Eclipse5
NASA Astronaut Jack Fischer Gives Tour Of International Space Station

Another called the eclipse "amazing".

Despite the practical application of the eclipse to the physics world, however, Christensen also said that the beauty of the eclipse alone makes a trip to view totality worth it.

"I'll cover for you", she said. Executive Director of the Wyoming Eclipse Festival Anna Wilcox said it was awesome to look at. For example, NBC News reported in March of this year that Astronomer Jay Pasachoff would be traveling to study the solar corona, which apparently contains numerous sun's remaining secrets, like space weather.

Students view the 2017 solar eclipse outside the JRC. On Aug. 12, 2045, a total solar eclipse will traverse the country from coast to coast, much like this year's.

Peter Kertz takes in the eclipse through viewing glasses at the Newport Beach Public Library on Monday. "I've never experienced anything like it".

Watson told The Journal Gazette that Fort Wayne will be on the edge of totality for an April 2024 total solar eclipse that will cross Indiana. A near-total eclipse will come at what would be sunrise at 6:09 a.m.

Totality seemed like it lasted less than a minute instead of two and a half, but as soon as a sliver of the sun emerged on the other side of the moon, things went back to normal.

Whereas this year's eclipse traversed the country from coast-to-coast, the 2024 eclipse will travel northeastward from Texas to Maine.

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