Exclusive First Photos of the 2017 Solar Eclipse

National Geographic photographers were across the country—and over the ocean—capturing some of the best views of the historic eclipse.

The “Great American Eclipse”on August 21, 2017 was the first total solar eclipse the United States had seen in 38 years, and the first time in almost 100 years that the path of totality crossed from coast to coast. For a couple of minutes, locations along a narrow path from the Pacific Northwest to the southeast Atlantic coast saw day turn into night as the moon completely blocked out the sun.

Not all of us were lucky enough to board a transcontinental flight to follow the moon’s shadow, so we here we bring you the next best thing: over a dozen National Geographic photographers strategically positioned along the way. We started with astronomy photographer Babak Tafreshi in a jet above the Pacific at the moment the eclipse began, then touched down in Oregon to continue on-the-ground coverage all the way to South Carolina.

Solar Eclipse 101