NEW YORK — The Great American Eclipse of 2017 delivered an experience not seen in the United States in 99 years.
PIX11’s James Ford made the trek across the country to Lebanon, Oregon where he was among the first in the nation to bear witness to this coast-to-coast astronomical event, telling us all about it on Facebook LIVE.
“I was crying, I was shouting,” Ford, a science enthusiast, said of the solar eclipse moments after it completed the so-called totality phase. “My daughter was weeping, daddy was shouting at the top of his lungs and then I started crying!”
As the total solar eclipse made its way east, it traveled through 14 states at a speed of 1800 miles per hour and there was no shortage of dull moments
A satellite for the National Weather Service captured it all in one gif.
Closer to home, people gathered at viewing parties. It was like all of Brooklyn turned out for the amateur astronomers' associations free viewing party at Pioneer Works in Red Hook.
"Look at all the kids here," Peter Lipschutz, am amateur astronomer, told PIX11. "This is an opportunity to get kids interested in science."
From toddlers on up, everyone was careful to protect their eyes. Others used cereal boxes to make pinhole projectors.
Regardless of how they were viewing it, New Yorkers gave a collective cheer and spontaneous rendition of Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' at the peak eclipse time.
More than 8,000 people waited in line for for protective glasses outside Liberty Science Center in Jersey City Monday. Not everyone was lucky enough to score a pair.
President and CEO Paul Hoffman said the Liberty Science Center had never seen a crowd this big.
"The Great American eclipse is a once in a lifetime thing, because the last time was 99 years ago," he said.
Liberty Science Center also set up telescopes on the lawn outside for people to view the eclipse through.
It began at exactly 1:23 p.m. in Jersey City and continued until about 4 p.m.
New Jersey and New York was not in the direct path of totality, where pitch black darkness is achieved and temperatures can drop 20 to 30 degrees.
Locally, scientists said the temperatures dropped about 10 degrees during the eclipse. Silence also occurs right before an eclipse.
Celebrities got in on the eclipse-viewing action too. New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham chose to not heed the warning to avoid looking directly at the eclipse without protective viewers.
President Donald Trump, along with First Lady Melania and son Barron, took in the sights from outside the White House.
The President was also spotted looking up without protective eyewear. Medical professionals say even a glance could cause partial vision loss.
Finally the photo-bomb no one saw coming came compliments of NASA.
If you look closely, as the eclipse moves toward totality, the passing International Space Station makes a cameo.
It’s the photo-bomb that’s literally out of this world.