Millions watch total eclipse across the U.S. - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Millions watch total eclipse across the U.S.

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The much-anticipated solar eclipse darkened parts of the U.S. on Monday afternoon from a path stretching from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. 

A partial eclipse of the sun began around noon Eastern Time in the far northwest corner of the U.S. That part of the country experienced a total eclipse at 1:18 p.m. Eastern Time. 

The eclipse then moved southeast. Charleston, South Carolina, experienced the total eclipse at 2:47 p.m. 

In Central Virginia, about 85-90 percent of the sun was hidden by the moon. It became a little darker around 2:45 p.m., but the area was not in total darkness.

That did not stop people from gathering at Brown's Island. Hundreds of people filled the T. Potterfield Bridge to watch, while others preferred a more laid-back approach.

"With everything going on in the world, it's kind of unifying.  A good way to press pause?  Yeah.  Yeah," said one attendee.

The event organizers Brown's Island had 600 glasses to pass out on Monday.  A couple of people were not able to get their hands on glasses at all, so they decided to improvise.

Michael and Dez drove down from D.C. to see a larger eclipse.  They got the idea to make a pinhole projector from NASA's website.

"So I cut two holes into the box and then over one of the holes I put the aluminum.  I took a pin and I poke a hole into the aluminum so then I turn away from the sun and the light hits the hole, and it projects the image into the box of the solar eclipse," said Michael.

Another solar eclipse will pass over the U.S. from Texas up through Maine in 2024. The solar eclipse glasses have a three-year expiration date.

Andrew Freiden in South Carolina:

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