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The Daily Ittefaq

Together in wonder: North America awed by total solar eclipse

Update : 09 Apr 2024, 09:42

Across Mexico, the US and Canada, inside a ribbon of land stretching 155 miles wide but more than 4,000 miles long, tens of millions of people craned their necks, tilted their heads to the sky and watched in wonder as the day turned to night.

What many saw on Monday was a phenomenon like no other: the Moon moving between the Earth and the Sun, extinguishing its light in a total solar eclipse.

The path of totality spanned the continent, beginning over the warm sands of a Mexican beach town and darkening the skies above the crashing waters of Niagara Falls before ending its journey on the shores of Canada's Newfoundland.

It left a sense of awe in its wake, a reminder of our planet's place in the universe. The eclipse was first seen around Mazatlán, Mexico, on the country's western shores at 11:07 local time (18:07 GMT).

At first, the Moon's outer edge seemed to just be touching the Sun. Then it devoured more and more until cheers erupted as all finally went dark - save for the silvery glow of the "corona" effect of the Sun around the Moon's outline. 

A thousand miles away in Dallas, Texas, 11-year-old Ady Walton-King was waiting, weeks of pent-up excitement ready to burst.

She had learned all about the eclipse in her fifth-grade class at Dallas Academy and on Monday morning she laced up her shoes and tucked four pairs of eclipse glasses into her pink purse - one for herself, one for each parent and one for her little sister, Abigail. 

Just before it started, Ady sat down beside her dad, Ryan, on a school field in central Dallas and lifted her gaze upward.

And then it happened.

It all felt slow, she said, as she described the Texas afternoon turning dark. "It looked like the Moon was biting the Sun, but without the teeth marks."

Clouds slid in and out, occasionally blocking the eclipse from view until the Sun had vanished, nothing left but little flares of light around the Moon.

"I didn't think it would be like that," Ady said. "It was really dark out. I thought it would be like evening dark, but it was pretty close to pitch black." Source: BBC 

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