Twilight will fall at midday on Monday, stars will glimmer and birds will roost in an eerie stillness as millions of Americans and visitors witness the first total solar eclipse to traverse the United States from coast to coast in 99 years. The sight of the moon’s shadow passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but the halo-like solar corona, may draw the largest

live audience for a celestial event in human history. When those watching via broadcast and online media are factored into the mix, the spectacle will likely smash records. “It will certainly be the most observed total eclipse in history,” astronomer Rick Fienberg of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) said last week. The eclipse begins its cross-country trajectory over the Pacific Coast of Oregon in late morning. It will reach South Carolina’s Atlantic shore some 90 minutes later. READ MORE