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On This Day: Total Solar Eclipse

One year ago today

One year ago today, on August 21, 2017, the total solar eclipse took place and those in the Middle Tennessee area were able to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina and a partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe, says

Why the solar eclipse was a big deal

During an eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end. During the 2017 eclipse, the sun was completely blocked by the moon. Depending on your location during the eclipse, you may have experienced the eeriness of total darkness in the middle of the day. During the eclipse, the longest period of time that the moon blocked the sun was about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.

Above you can watch a time lapse video of the 2017 eclipse by Baylee Meyer. Meyer shot the video from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge in downtown Nashville. In the video, you can see the darkness sweep over the city and then watch the sunshine return.

Remember the glasses?

Getting your hands on eclipse glasses became a bit of an ordeal. In order to safely view the eclipse, it was recommended you have eclipse glasses. Everyone, from gas stations to hardware stores and every retailer in between, stocked up on eclipse glasses. But the glasses quickly sold out, leaving people scrambling to find glasses online. Some glasses were even recalled.

When does it happen again?

According to, the next total eclipse for North America will not occur until April 8, 2024.