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First total solar eclipse to sweep across America comes to an end

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The first total solar eclipse to sweep across America in 99 years has finally come to an end.

Darkness swept across the US as the eclipse, traveled from coast to coast, ending just before 3pm EDT in South Carolina

The total eclipse hit the tiny coastal town of Newport, Ore., at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Time, stunning the crowd that gathered on its beach into a brief silence.

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The whole thing was over from coast to coast in just 90 minutes.

Within two minutes the shadow extends eastward toward Dallas, Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Philomath, McMinnville, Woodburn, and Salem.

On the coast of Oregon, it began with a little darkness.

Then, the shadow began to grow, inching its way across the sun’s surface beginning the tantalizing march toward a total eclipse.

Total solar eclipses are marvelous opportunities to study Earth’s intimate relationship with the sun.

2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Eclipses happen about once every eighteen months. But because Earth’s surface is covered mostly by water, they tend to occur over remote locations that are not easy for scientists to reach with advanced equipment for observation.

For most American scientists it is perhaps the most accessible total solar eclipse since the last one in 1979. And in those 38 years, their equipment and ability to study the phenomena have obviously improved.

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Scientists are hoping their studies of this eclipse will lead to important discoveries about the sun’s mysterious corona, which burns more than a million degrees hotter than the sun’s surface.

Biologists have set up video cameras in the Salt Marsh Aviary and Mountain Forest exhibits to gather data.

A White House official said Monday that President Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, will view the partial eclipse from the Truman balcony on the second floor of the residence, overlooking the South Lawn.

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