Miss the solar eclipse? See it here in photo and video

The morning turned dark over Southeast Asia as the moon aligned with the Earth and sun to cast a shadow that turned dawn to night.

It was the only solar eclipse of 2016, and if you weren’t one of the lucky ones able to travel to Indonesia to see it live, NASA, Slooh and the Exploratorium Science Center in San Francisco broadcast it live via webcast.

At 8:38 p.m. eastern time Tuesday, which was morning in Micronesia where NASA’s webcast was live, the moon moved fully in front of the sun, placing Earth in an ethereal shadow for as long as 4 minutes at the peak area of totality.

Solar eclipse, courtesy NASA

Solar eclipse, courtesy NASA

The total solar eclipse of 2016 reaches totality in this still image from a NASA webcast on March 8, 2016 from Woleai Island in Micronesia, where it was March 9 local time during the eclipse. - See more at: http://www.space.com/32198-total-solar-eclipse-2016-pictures.html#sthash.iCglzL3j.dpuf

The total solar eclipse of 2016 reaches totality in this still image from a NASA webcast on March 8, 2016 from Woleai Island in Micronesia, where it was March 9 local time during the eclipse. – See more at: http://www.space.com/32198-total-solar-eclipse-2016-pictures.html#sthash.iCglzL3j.dpuf

“When I think of the life experiences I’ve had, the only more gripping, more memorable experience than seeing a full solar eclipse was watching the birth of my children,” said Sam Storch, a retired astronomy professor and member of the Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches. “It’s that big of a deal.”

Storch was supposed to be on a special Alaska Airlines flight that was rerouted to view the eclipse, but a car accident interfered with the trip.

Full solar eclipses viewable from populated areas are rare. The last full solar eclipse in the U.S. was in 1979, but it only covered five states, according to NASA.

The next full solar eclipse viewable in North America will be Aug. 21, 2017.

Although the direct path of next year’s eclipse will skip to the north of Florida, several other states will get the full treatment, falling directly under a shadow that will have a width of about 100 miles. Those include Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

“It’s pretty close to pitch black during totality,” said Alex Young, an associate director of science at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “Then you can see the corona, the wispy halo-like structure of the outer atmosphere of the sun.”

Totality is when the moon fully covers the sun, creating a straight line between Earth, itself and the sun. The event is a chance for scientists to better study the sun’s corona where solar storms erupt to form beautiful auroras in the northern reaches of the globe, but also disturb Earth’s magnetic field. The disruptions can affect GPS and radio communications, but also put astronauts dangerously close to radiation.

Storch, who lives in Boynton Beach, has traveled thousands of miles to experience full solar eclipses.

He describes moments in the darkness when temperatures drop dramatically and birds begin their nighttime calls.

“People get addicted to seeing eclipses because it’s such a unique thing,” said Young, who expects to see his first full solar eclipse next year. “Everyone says it is one of the most amazing things they’ve ever seen.”

The Woleai Atoll in Micronesia is the closest land location to where the eclipse will last its longest – 4 minutes, 9 seconds – according to Sky and Telescope.

“For the first time since 2001, I’m going to miss standing in the moon’s shadow,” said Sky and Telescope senior editor J. Kelly Beatty. “Fortunately, technological resources exist not that weren’t available back then.”

Storch said he hopes to watch the eclipse via one of the live webcasts, but it won’t be the same.

“It’s the difference between talking about love and being in love,” he said.

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