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Solar eclipse 2024: Watch LIVE as rare event plunges MILLIONS into darkness in incredible sight 

Millions of people across North America are watching a rare total solar eclipse with afternoon skies temporarily darkening as the moon blocks the face of the sun.

Millions across North America watched as the total solar eclipse occurred, with the sun being covered by the moon before it reappeared as the unique spectacle was completed. There won’t be another coast-to-coast spectacle on the continent until 2045.

Crowds gathered along the country’s Pacific coast, with the trajectory of the eclipse racing toward the US and eastern Canada before ultimately exiting into the Atlantic.

The Mirror's news reporter Jeremiah Hassel was at the Niagara Falls State Park where over 1,000 people gathered to witness the eclipse. He described how, as the total solar eclipse approached, the temperature dropped, and birds began to settle "as if to turn in for the night."

"At exactly 3.20pm EDT, the moon completely covered the sun. In a matter of seconds, the sky darkened, and night fell over the park as buildings on the Canadian side began to light up. It was as if dusk had fallen early.

"The crowd oohed and ahhed, clapping and cheering as the eclipse occurred. For a few moments, things were still as a mesmerised crowd observed the rare celestial phenomenon.

"Then it was as if the sun was rising again - rays of sunshine spilled through the clouds that still covered the skies above the park, and light returned to the area as people cheered once again. The eclipse was over."

Follow along for live updates of the event.

NASA images reveal what a solar eclipse looks like on Mars

While Earth is the only rocky planet that has total eclipses, other planets do have partial eclipses and NASA has shared incredible images revealing what one looks like on Mars. The photos were captured in 2022 when the NASA Perseverance rover’s Mastcam-Z camera system shot a video of Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons, eclipsing the Sun.

It marked the highest-resolution observation of a Phobos solar eclipse ever taken. In February, the Perseverance rover, which landed on the planet in 2021, took photos showing Mars’ tiny moon Phobos crossing in front of the much larger sun after Mars' other moon, Deimos, completed a transit in January.

The photos were taken from Mars’ Jezero Crater, where the Perseverance rover took photos before NASA engineers uploaded the never-before-seen images for the public to view. Last week NASA shared timelapses of the past eclipses on Mars in anticipation of today’s solar eclipse.

While not everyone experienced the full spectacle, a large portion of North America had a chance to catch at least a partial eclipse. The eclipse started on the Pacific coast at around 11.07 am Pacific Time before it hit Texas, trailed through Oklahoma and on to Tennessee and Ohio before it was visible in Maine. It finished its journey at 5.16pm local time on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland.

Read more here:Incredible NASA images reveal what a solar eclipse looks like on Mars

Spiritual sentiments left behind

The Sun, the Moon and the clouds gave an extraordinary performance today and made for inspirational, atmospheric photographs.

In this NASA handout picture, the Moon is seen passing in front of the Sun, with the top of the Washington Monument in silhouette, during the partial solar eclipse seen from Washington.

Image:The Moon passing in front of the Sun, with the top of the Washington Monument in silhouette 

A bird was captured flying right as the Moon crossed in front of the Sun in this beautiful image taken from in Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada. When the land plunged into darkness, birds were seen settling as if they were turning in for the night. 

And religious groups saw the total solar eclipse as an opportunity to spread "God's word", with leaflets being handed out at places where spectators gathered. In this photograph, clouds parted as the sight unfolded atop the New Sweden Evangelical Lutheran Church steeple in Manor, Texas. 

Amusing moments from the viewing

A dog wearing eclipse glasses at Bryant Park in New York (
Anadolu via Getty Images) 

Spectators share their awe after the eclipse

The sun reappeared from behind the moon as the total solar eclipse leaves North America. There won’t be another coast-to-coast spectacle on the continent until 2045.

Viewers shared the feelings that the unique celestial event has left them with - and it's nothing short of euphoria. One woman, Sandra, travelled from Bethesda, Maryland to Buffalo for a passport appointment, which coincidentally allowed her to see the eclipse from the magnificent Niagara Falls.

She told The Mirror: "It was amazing. I love it. Anything like it. And I just thought it was a once in a lifetime experience and I was just very happy to come here. I really enjoyed being here - it was really fun. It was really a nice family atmosphere. I wish my family was with me."

Asked if the experience is memorable, she declared: "Absolutely. Just to witness the day going into night and then being able to see the sun and the eclipse phases, everything, you know, the news coverage has been phenomenal. They've been teaching us all about the eclipses. I didn't know much about it, but I learned quite a lot of media and it was just incredible."

Reference: Mirror: 

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