Tuesday Briefing

For more than four hours on Monday, the silhouette of the moon cut into the sun.Credit…Jamie Kelter Davis for The New York Times

A shadow of wonder crossed North America

The first total solar eclipse in seven years plunged the day into darkness in Mexico, Canada and the U.S. yesterday, reminding millions of sky gazers of our planet’s place in the cosmos.

The celestial marvel carved a southwest-to-northeast path, delighting watchers behind eclipse glasses as the moon’s shadow grew until daylight was extinguished, except for the silvery glow of the corona.

But only if the weather held. For spectators in Canton, Texas, the clouds parted just in time. They stuck around too long for people riding the eclipse train in Western New York and returned to block the totality in Gander, Newfoundland, one of the last places the complete eclipse was visible. (Even if you missed it, we took plenty of pictures.)

I joined throngs of people in Manhattan’s Central Park to watch the partial eclipse. It felt like dusk by 3:20 in the afternoon, and people cheered when just a cuticle of sun remained.

Eclipse watchers gathered in Washington Square Park in Manhattan on Monday.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

Many Central Park spectators departed long before the sun fully emerged from behind the moon. People seemed more contemplative in other parts of the country, like Houlton, Maine, where the eclipse concluded the U.S. portion of its journey.

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