US & Canada

Solar eclipse 2017: The pictures you have to see

Image copyright AFP
Image caption A composite image of what the total eclipse looked like from the Lowell Observatory in Madras, Oregon

Americans gazed upwards in their millions on Monday, as a total solar eclipse swept the country.

It was the first such eclipse to go from the west to east coasts of the US in 99 years.

From schoolchildren in Missouri to mounted patrol officers in Idaho, the nation was transfixed by the sight of the Moon drifting in front of the Sun, and blocking its light.

Image copyright Getty Images/Jeff Curry
Image copyright Getty Images

Far from the crowds on Earth, just six people saw the umbra, or the Moon's shadow, from space.

International Space Station (ISS) astronauts had a clear view as they orbited above the US from an altitude of 250 miles (402km). They crossed the path of the eclipse three times.

Image copyright NASA

Meanwhile the BBC's James Cook had a front-row seat as he chased the Moon's shadow at 40,000ft.

Image copyright JAMES COOK/BBC

Warnings had been made about eye safety in the build-up to the eclipse, with people told they should not look at the Sun directly with the naked eye, and instead wear special protective eyewear.

Most people appeared to heed this advice, though what some placed over their eyes may not have done much to protect them.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption A boy wearing protective eyewear looks at the solar eclipse from a beach in Chilmark, Massachusetts

In Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, where the solar eclipse was partially visible, this man made glasses from a plastic bottle.

Image copyright AFP

While in Havana, Cuba, a street performer took his chances.

Image copyright Reuters

Others chose to project the eclipse, instead of trying to view it directly.

Image copyright EPA

The US President, for his part, did not set the best example. (Though he and the First Lady were also pictured wearing protective eyewear.)

Image copyright AFP

But Andrew, a dog belonging to a BBC News reader in Nashville, Tennessee, was well-equipped for sky-gazing.

Image copyright Ashley Wilson

In the town of Greenville, South Carolina, one set of parents made a last-minute decision to name their daughter, born hours earlier, in honour of the eclipse that cast a spell over their country.

Eclipse Alizabeth Eubanks weighed six pounds and three ounces, according to Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Image copyright Greenville Health System

The singer Bonnie Tyler helped mark the moment aboard a cruise ship as it sailed through the path of totality.

She sang a shorter two minute, 40 second version of her 1983 hit Total Eclipse of the Heart to match the longest duration of totality that was visible, near Carbondale, Illinois

Despite being decades old, the song cruised straight to the top of the iTunes charts.

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Media captionBonnie Tyler performs her 1980s hit Total Eclipse of the Heart, to mark the total solar eclipse

A different style of celebration took place at the Symbiosis Oregon Eclipse Festival in the Ochoco National Forest.

Free spirits there raised their hands to the skies.

Image copyright AFP

All the while, ISS astronauts "photobombed" the solar eclipse - as this composite image shows.

Image copyright AFP

Finally, here are some of the most breathtaking photos of the solar eclipse, if you weren't lucky enough to see it with your own eyes.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The progression of the eclipse as seen over Madras, Oregon in a composite image
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Full eclipse over a park in Hiawatha, Kansas
Image copyright NASA/SDO
Image caption The moon transits across the Sun in this picture from Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite


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