Looming Shadow

Today's stunning total solar eclipse has drawn millions of people outside to gaze at the sky and witness a truly extraordinary and exceedingly rare event.

And while the views from the ground are expectedly breathtaking, the eclipse looks even more staggering from space.

Video footage shared by NASA shows a massive, looming cloud of darkness engulfing huge swathes of the United States as the Moon's shadow creeps across the continent.

It's a good time to be an astronaut orbiting the Earth, as crew members get two exceptional views. Not only are they getting to view the Moon passing in front of the Sun, they also get to see the Moon's shadow as it moves across the continent.



Today's eclipse was exceedingly rare, largely because its path of totality spanned the homes of hundreds of millions of people.

Videos shared on social media show cities including Dallas, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Niagara Falls being plunged into darkness, despite it being the mid-afternoon.

Astronauts on board the International Space Station already had an exceptional view during the August 2017 solar eclipse, showing up as a menacing cloud of darkness on the horizon.

It's only a fleeting encounter as the space station circles the Earth every 90 minutes, which means its location has to line up with the path of totality to get a good view.

Meanwhile, NASA had some fun with the event on social media.

"Oops I did it again," the official NASA lunar science and exploration account tweeted, sharing a mocked-up screenshot of the "Sun and Space" account blocking it on the platform.

More on the eclipse: NASA Launching Three Rockets Directly Into Eclipse

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