‘That Is Unreal!’ Experiencing The Total Solar Eclipse

2:34 minutes

On August 21st, millions of Americans stopped what they were doing and looked up.

The total solar eclipse captured the imagination of folks across the country. Science Friday had producers all along the path of totality (which ran from Oregon to South Carolina) and beyond to record people’s reactions to the spectacular stellar phenomenon.

Campground awaiting the eclipse at Atlas Obscura’s Total Eclipse. Baker County, Oregon. Photo by Danielle Dana.

Festival goers model meteorite impacts on T-shirts at Atlas Obscura’s Total Eclipse. Baker County, Oregon. Photo by Danielle Dana.
Two eclipse enthusiasts show their pinhole viewer. Greenville, South Carolina. Photo by Brandon Echter.

[Don’t throw away those eclipse glasses! Donate them.]

Passersby look through a telescope outside Radio City Music Hall. New York City. Photo by Johanna Mayer.

Baker County, Oregon. Photo by Danielle Dana.
Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Alexa Lim.

[Here’s how NASA is preparing to live off the land…on Mars.]

Greenville, South Carolina. Photo by Brandon Echter.

New York City. Photo by Rachel Bouton.
Midvale, Idaho. Photo by Xochitl Garcia.

[Birds of a feather, photograph well together.]

Science fans gather at the Paul Robinson Observatory, New Jersey Astronomical Association. High Bridge, New Jersey. Photo by Charles Bergquist.

Central Park, New York City. Photo by Lauren Young.
Totality in Casper, Wyoming. Photo by Ira Flatow.

Segment Transcript

IRA FLATOW: Did you all have a good eclipse? I was sure lucky enough to be in Casper, Wyoming, for the big event. And after months– no, actually, years– of anticipation, I’m happy to say it was even more breathtaking than I had imagined. And the same was true for members of our staff, who were stationed all along the path of totality.

So, to cap off Eclipse Week, here’s one last treat for you– the sound of a total eclipse in four time zones.


SPEAKER: 10:24 a.m., Durkee, Oregon.




AUDIENCE: Wow. Totality. [LAUGHS]

SPEAKER: 11:25 a.m., Midvale, Idaho.


AUDIENCE: Oh my god! [LAUGHS] That is unreal. Oh my gosh.

SPEAKER: 1:13 p.m., Jefferson City, Missouri.

AUDIENCE: Oh my god! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh! This is weird. And it is dark. Wow. Look around. It’s gone. Oh my god. That’s unbelievable. It’s gone. Oh my gosh. Oh my God! Take it off and look at it. It’s crazy. Oh my gosh. It’s so cool.

SPEAKER: 2:38 p.m., Greenville, South Carolina.


IRA FLATOW: Gives me goosebumps. See how folks experienced it across the country at sciencefriday.com/totality.

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