What was so great about the 2017 solar eclipse? For starters, this was the first time a total solar eclipse has crossed the entire continental United States in 99 years. In divisive times like these, it’s nice to have a stellar experience we can all share.
As Astrophysicist Summer Ash from NBC’s Space is Awesome explained, “This eclipse is the best chance in almost a century for most Americans to get to look at one from their own backyard” 12.2 million of Americans live along the path of totality for a total solar eclipse. Millions more were within driving distance. Plus, everyone in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, were able to view at least a partial eclipse.
According to NASA’s website, the total solar eclipse arrived in Madras Oregon at 9:05 a.m. PDT, swept across the continental U.S. at breathtaking speeds of 1,500-3,000 miles per hour, and flew off the coast of Charleston, S.C. at 4:06 p.m. EDT.
For those of us within the path of totality, the temperature dropped, the wind changed direction, birds stopped singing, and the stars came out. But as the amazing photos in this article prove, even those who had cloudy weather and a partial eclipse were treated to an incredible show.
45 Amazing images of the 2017 Solar Eclipse.
The above photo was taken by Jim Jeletic, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope deputy project manager, and his son Jordan. And here are 45 more great pictures.
45. Some of the best solar eclipse photos were taken from above, including this one. Alaska Airlines had someone take this from 38,000 feet in the air and 800 miles off the coast of Oregon
— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 21, 2017
44. NASA took this breathtaking picture from outer space.
— Fake Ezzie ☕️ Moderately Caffeinated Centrist (@fakeezzie) August 22, 2017
43. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured this image and the video below via satellite. SDO is part of the Living with a Star (LWS) program, which studies the sun’s solar atmosphere.
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) August 21, 2017
Here’s the video that goes with the satellite image above.
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) August 25, 2017
42. Terry Virts, a NASA astronaut, snapped this photo with a regular handheld camera as the sun rose over Planet Earth’s horizon.
— Terry Virts (@AstroTerry) August 22, 2017
41. Virts also captured this stunning shot.
— Lindsey Wasson (@lindseywasson) August 21, 2017
40. Despite cloudy weather, Alex Flaxenburg managed to take a stunning solar eclipse photo at a festival in Madras, Ore.
— 🅱️ool™ (@flaxenburg) August 21, 2017
39. This picture took lots of planning, but Ted Hesser got his shot at Smith Rock State Park, Ore.
38. You may have seen this phenomenal time-lapse photo from Oregon by Jasman Lion Mander, because it went viral. But here it is in case you missed it.
37. Portland photographer Jake Kwong caught the ring of fire and solar flare.
— Jake Kwong (@Shoujoboi) August 21, 2017
36. Productivity’s loss was science’s gain.
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) August 22, 2017
35. NASA put together a composite image to show the progression of a partial solar eclipse at Washington state’s Ross Lake in the Northern Cascades National Park.
— NASA (@NASA) August 22, 2017
34. Paul Zizka took the photo below from atop Ha Ling Peak in Alberta, Canada.
A different take on yesterday's unforgettable display!
— Paul Zizka (@PaulZizkaPhoto) August 22, 2017
33. Chris Oates, a photographer, also turned heads when he shared this breathtaking composite photo from Lethbridge, Canada.
— Global Calgary (@GlobalCalgary) August 25, 2017
32. Photographer David Montes set up a gallery for the stunning series of photos he took in Weiser, Idaho.
— David Montes (@DMontesG) August 22, 2017
31. Self-described photographer and “storm chaser” Ryan Wunch chased the solar eclipse instead for this insane shot from the plains of Nebraska.
— Ryan Wünsch (@ryanwunsch) August 21, 2017
30. Karl Shakur Ndieli captured the “ring of fire” at Grand Teton National Park, Wyo.
— Karl-Shakur (@Karl_Shakur) August 22, 2017
29. This lovely image comes from Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colo.
via the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.
— US Department of the Interior (@Interior) August 22, 2017
28. This series of images — assembled into an animated GIF — shows the progression of the total solar eclipse in Carbondale, Ill.
— Field Museum (@FieldMuseum) August 22, 2017
27. Ana Sprague got some amazing shots in Chicago, Ill.
— Ana Sprague (@anawanna1958) August 22, 2017
26. You can’t have a solar eclipse sweeping through the South without at least one getting taken at a Waffle House. This one’s in Nashville Tenn.
25. This photo doesn’t show the eclipse, but the mountain top view from Tennessee’s Great Smokey Mountains is gorgeous.
24. Cloudy weather didn’t deter the folks from Stone Laboratory in Gibraltar Island, Ohio from capturing an eerily beautiful image.
23. Shawn Dowd was able to take a similarly beautiful picture in Rochester, N.Y.
— Shawn Dowd (@sdowdphoto) August 21, 2017
22. This was taken at Wilson Hall at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.
— JMU (@JMU) August 21, 2017
21. Here are two from Columbia, Md. with an airplane in the shots.
— Yanair Photography (@Yanair_Photo) August 21, 2017
20. Julian Diamond took this photo in South Carolina.
— Julian Diamond (@juliancd38) August 24, 2017
19. Brian Drourr also took a photo of the total eclipse with the corona in Greenville, S.C.
— Brian Drourr Photo (@BrianDrourr) August 21, 2017
18. Patricia Murphy snapped this striking image from Pauley’s Island, S.C.
It's not NASAlevel photo but eclipse visible on Pawleys Islans South Carolina! pic.twitter.com/UsGHoNaumQ
— Patricia Murphy (@_PatriciaMurphy) August 21, 2017
17. Charleston, S.C. was the last city within the path of the total Solar Eclipse before it swept off the East Coast.
A little overcast but still managed to get this photo of the eclipse (Charleston, South Carolina) pic.twitter.com/XZgrExPb1u
— Earth Porn 🌍 (@redditEarthPrn) August 21, 2017
18. Brendon Echter’s shot shows how the leaves in trees function as pinhole cameras.
— brandon we now our gay echter ⛄️ (@bechter) August 21, 2017
The 2017 solar eclipse also inspired lots of art and memes.
15. School kids in Nashville, Tenn. welcomed the eclipse with their drawings.
Solar Eclipse we are ready for you! pic.twitter.com/BYrDiLMIPO
— Waverly-Belmont Art (@ArtwithMrsBix) August 18, 2017
14. The U.S. 82nd Airborne division’s photo went viral. It turned out to be a photo illustration in honor of their Centennial Week, and not a photo of an actual jump. Still, it’s pretty danged awesome. The News Observer reports, “By Monday night, the photo was shared on Facebook nearly 30,000 times, had more than 700 comments and more than 22,000 reactions as people celebrated the proud “All American” division.”
The 82nd Airborne posted this yesterday! pic.twitter.com/WF9qEDXjkC
— Reg Saddler (@zaibatsu) August 22, 2017
13. Megan Brennan’s charming illustration gets the point across.
everyone is doing so much eclipse fan art, so here's my artistic vision: orbs pic.twitter.com/mLNyUdpbMc
— Megen Brennan✨SPX A12A (@megthebrennan) August 23, 2017
12. Guess who?
— Lola Belle ✨🌙✨ (@unicornwing_) August 21, 2017
11. A lovely animated GIF.
The solar eclipse was so beautiful 😭
it reminded me of someone, iDK who tho. 0H wElL 🙂 pic.twitter.com/RzwX8aHbEK
— Seventeen Meme (@17memearchive) August 25, 2017
10. French illustrator Maryne Lahaye was one of many artists who portrayed the solar eclipse as long-separated lesbian lovers.
9. For this Twitter user, Al Columbia’s mischievous moon wins the day.
My favorite photo of the eclipse. This one by Al Columbia. pic.twitter.com/MkzG1ivNp6
— Jon Adams™ (@citycyclops) August 21, 2017
8. Another take on the separated lovers theme.
— maz (@fumingbelly) August 22, 2017
7. This League of Legends fan art piece reminds fans to protect their eyes.
— The Rift Herald (@TheRiftHerald) August 21, 2017
6. More 2017 solar eclipse-inspired fan art.
— Fyreuni (@Fyreuni) August 23, 2017
5. This interesting map shows how Stack Overflow — which measures web traffic — saw the solar eclipse.
— David Robinson (@drob) August 23, 2017
4. Minecraft gets a shout out.
got a great photo of the eclipse today!! pic.twitter.com/SSte5azziE
— bells (@quirkybf) August 21, 2017
3. In case you missed it….
2. Of course, someone had to make a joke about Mitsubishi’s eclipse.
Extra points to those who get this bad punny.
I understand the Grateful Dead's drummer crashed his family car. It's the "Totaled Eclipse of The Harts" pic.twitter.com/02twjFMalk
— R. A. Schneider (@Bey0ndBelief) August 21, 2017
1. Whew. Thanks.
— Tim has issues (@LaptopShopWH) August 21, 2017
Featured image: Jim Jeletic via NASA.