As darkness fell outside the Grand Ole Opry, the band onstage stopped playing. The temperature dropped. Cicadas started chirruping in the trees. Eclipse-watchers who had hidden in the shade to hide from the heat came out for one last look at the sun as dusk fell in midday and everything went dark.
Viewed through the proper protective glasses, everything was black except for a tiny sliver of the sun. Then the tiny sliver disappeared, and everyone took off their glasses and looked at where the sun used to be.
The team from Rancho Santa Margarita in south Orange County had just taken the field for pregame warm-ups at about 2:40 p.m. EDT Monday when the solar eclipse reached its height here at the site of the Little League World Series.
Few of the players looked up, but many fans turned their backs on the field and gazed toward the skies while ESPN announcers Karl Ravech and Aaron Boone left their broadcast booth and came down into the stands for a better look.
The eclipse was about 85% of totality in north-central Pennsylvania, but that was enough to darken the sky considerably, turning midafternoon to dusk for about half an hour. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees.
Thousands — millions? — of eyes gazed toward the heavens Monday for the first total solar eclipse to cross the United States in nearly 100 years. It swept on a “path of totality” from Oregon through South Carolina.
Before and after the event, the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena is celebrating with the exhibit “Eclipse.”
“I wanted to reference the symbolism we’ve attached to solar eclipses and the profound emotion and transcendent experiences people have,” gallery director Stephen Nowlin said. “I wanted to keep the show in the context of real science, not new ageism or pseudoscience.”
Thirty members of the Richard family gathered in the front yard of patriarch Bob Richard Sr.'s home in rural Albany, Ore., setting up tents, lawn chairs and blankets for the big event. A local radio station's broadcast of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" played from nearby speakers.
As totality neared, the temperature dropped. A 360-degree hazy dusk enveloped the countryside. Swallows began swooping and diving before taking off in a flock into the "night" sky.
"It's getting darker! There's like an Instagram filter on everything," said Jenny Carlson, 45, a pharmacist from Tigard, Ore.