Solar eclipse 2017 Millions watch once in a lifetime spectacle

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eclipse2017Millions of Americans armed with protective glasses have marvelled at the first total solar eclipse to unfold from coast to coast in the US in nearly a century.

Day turned to night for two minutes during the eclipse, visible in a 70-mile-wide (113-km-wide), 2,500-mile-long (4,000-km-long) zone in the US, drawing one of the largest audiences in human history.

The last time such a spectacle unfolded from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast was in 1918. The last total eclipse seen anywhere in the United States took place in 1979.

The Canadian Space Agency described the initial glimpses of the eclipse as "Beautiful!" as Americans watched in wonder through telescopes, cameras and protective glasses.

US President Donald Trump watched from the Whitehouse alongside First Lady Melania while his daughter Ivanka and rock star Bruce Springsteen were among the excited big names who had tweeted advice that watchers should remember to wear their glasses when looking at the spectacle.

They saw the moon blot out the sun, cause a drop in temperature and turn daylight into twilight. It is expected to be the most observed and most photographed eclipse in history.

Nasa Moon, NASA's official Twitter account about Earth's Moon, said: "HA HA HA I've blocked the Sun! Make way for the Moon. £SolarEclipse2017" while Hopkinsville Police in Kentucky, which saw solar enthusiasts descend on the town, tweeted "Please DO NOT call 911 just because your Wi-Fi service is not working."

Dr Francisco Diego of University College London described each eclipse is "unique", saying that it "steals your soul and it happens in complete silence".

He told BBC News: "You cannot anticipate how spectacular this is.

"You are going to be in a landscape in a normal day and suddenly in a matter of minutes in the last part of the approach, a matter of seconds, this shadow of the moon is going to cover the entire landscape and you are being plunged into darkness. You can see planets like Venus and Mercury and bright stars, there is twilight all around you and that happens so quickly. "

Gloomy skies scuppered the chances of many Britons who wanted to see a partial solar eclipse on Monday evening.

The movement of the moon between the Earth and sun produced a dramatic event in the US but Britons had hoped to see the moon appear to take a "bite" out of the sun just before sunset.

Devon, Cornwall and the south coast of Dorset may have got a glimpse of the partial eclipse as about 5% of the sun was covered, according to Met Office forecaster Luke Miall.

He said: "The only place that had seen the partial eclipse was on the south coast of Weymouth which had a good show, but for the the majority of the country it was too cloudy."

Source: telegraph.co.uk

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