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In photos: North America looks up at the solar eclipse

For the first time in decades, the long dark finger of the moon’s shadow swept across the continental United States, plunging entire cities and towns into an eerie midday darkness. And for a few precious minutes it was possible to look up and be reminded that we are but spectators in a grand celestial ballet that has been under way since the solar system was born.

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The moon covers the sun during a total eclipse from a view in Redmond, Oregon.

Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press

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Zack Singer and Jozef Kowalewski watch the Solar Eclipse from the top of Mount Seymour Mountain in North Vancouver, B.C.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

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This eight picture combo shows the path of the sun during a total eclipse by the moon viewed from Redmond, Ore.

Ted S. Warren/AP

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Ezra Packham, of Jacksonville, Fla., looks through his solar glasses in preparation for the solar eclipse on the beach at Isle of Palms, S.C.

Mic Smith/AP

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The moon covers the sun during a total eclipse from a view in Salem, Oregon.

Don Ryan/The Associated Press

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Alex Rivas, from Kewaunee, Wisconsin., makes a lens mount out of duct tape in preparation for the solar eclipse on the beach at Isle of Palms, S.C.

Mic Smith/AP

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CAC. D. Olsen adjust one of his vintage style cameras which he plans to use during the total solar eclipse on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Gretchen Wegrich uses a pair of viewing glasses to try and get a picture of the solar eclipse with her iPhone from the top of Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, B.C.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

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The International Space Station is seen in silhouette as it transits the sun during a partial solar eclipse seen near Banner, Wyoming.

NASA/Reuters

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A man looks through his solar viewing glasses after purchasing them to watch the total solar eclipse in New York City.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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A mother and her children use pinhole projectors to view a partial solar eclipse from the Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Alta.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

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People test pinhole eclipse viewers in the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum on the National Mall before an eclipse in Washington, DC.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

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Julian Ledger, of Los Angeles, photographs the solar eclipse while his wife Shayde Ledger and friend Annemarie Penny, right dance during totality at the Albany Regional Airport in Albany, Oregon.

Mark Ylen/AP

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The view of a partial solar eclipse from the Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Alta.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

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Zoe Allen of Lynn Valley, B.C. and Steve Crane visiting from Nova Scotia use old beer boxes set up as solar eclipse viewers to view the solar eclipse from Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, B.C.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

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Observers watch the solar eclipse at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.

Jon Blacker/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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The partial solar eclipse is seen on the back of a camera at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.

Jon Blacker/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Women watch a partial solar eclipse at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

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Hundreds of people gathered at Mount Tolmie to take in the partial solar eclipse in Victoria, B.C.

CHAD HIPOLITO/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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