In the Moon's Shadow, America Looks Up

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6. That morning, we toyed with battling traffic and crowds to watch from the famed St. Louis Arch, but with a 4-year-old niece in tow, we opted instead for the closest wide-open space — the parking lot of a Schnucks grocery store. Eclipse fever was real: Checkout cashiers were handing out eclipse glasses! — Becky Lang, Crestwood, MO

7. It was a sweltering day, but the sky was clear. Excitement filled the air as we sat waiting for that magical moment. As the eclipse began, I heard a kid shout, “It looks like Pac-Man!” Suddenly we were in twilight, the cicadas chirping in confusion, gasps and cheers all around us. I understand why people chase eclipses now. It’s an experience like no other. — Alison Mackey, De Soto, MO

8. My dad and I traveled together to see our first total solar eclipse. We were both blown away — pictures really cannot do it justice, from how the quality of the daylight changes to the reactions of the crowd sharing the experience with us. — Alison Klesman, Red Bud, IL

9. I recall most vividly the jewel-bright ring in the sky where the sun had been: science fiction come to life. For just over two minutes, the scale of the cosmos was laid bare. — Nathaniel Scharping, Shawnee National Forest, IL