Coachella Valley Region
Millions of Americans gazed in awe through cameras and disposable protective glasses to see the first full-blown solar to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.
Across the Coachella Valley, viewing parties took place to catch a glimpse of the historic partial solar eclipse. Families gathered at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and libraries, while others throughout the community watched from work or home. For a brief period of time, everyone in the Coachella Valley had one thing in common, The Great American Eclipse.
It was the most-observed and most-photographed eclipse in history, with many Americans staking out prime viewing spots and settling onto blankets and lawn chairs to watch, especially along the path of totality – the line of deep shadow created when the sun is completely obscured except for the ring of light known as the corona.
The shadow – a corridor just 60 to 70 miles (96 to 113 kilometers) wide – came ashore in Oregon and then traveled diagonally across the Midwest to South Carolina, with darkness from the totality lasting only about two to three wondrous minutes in any one spot.
The rest of North America was treated to a partial eclipse, as were Central America and the top of South America.
With 200 million people within a day’s drive from the path of totality, towns and parks saw big crowds. Skies were clear along most of the route, to the relief of those who feared cloud cover would spoil this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
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.