Even for those who weren’t in the path of totalityTM, Monday’s historic solar eclipse still presented a sufficient excuse for people to get up from their desks and peer up at the crescent-shaped sun. A McDonald’s in the south offered its employees a four-minute break, presumably holding up some (hopefully understanding) drive-through customers. Prosecutors in a Florida trial filed a motion to delay a case to allow one of their witnesses, an ATF agent, to travel into the path of totality (the motion was denied). And some sources estimated the break would cost $700 million in productivity nationwide—which Forbes promptly dismissed. Still, the forces of capitalism, like the totality, churn on.
For those who were able to escape to prime viewing points, the eclipse was an opportunity to get the perfect Instagram. Even politicians got in on the game—and observers noted, aptly, that of course President Trump looked directly at the sun. Though the totality lasted just a couple minutes—and though a retina specialist at Columbia University’s medical center recommended against taking selfies against the half-blacked-out sun—that didn’t stop models, celebrities, and artists posting their best (and, let’s admit it, silliest) eclipse-related Instagrams. Sarah Jessica Parker arguably won the eclipse on Instagram (because everything is a competition) with her unrestrained enthusiasm for the historic event; she and husband Matthew Broderick took a boat out in South Carolina to view the moon block out the sun, and she posted several videos of the encounter.
But others, like supermodel Sasha Pivovarova, actress Kerry Washington, musician Madonna, and actress Reese Witherspoon ventured outside as the totality approached, likely with just as much enthusiasm. Of course, they approached the eclipse with the correct NASA-approved eyewear—ultraviolet-ray-proof space glasses that give their wearers the appearance of viewers at an early ’00s 3-D movie. Others opted for less formal options, like several pairs of sunglasses, or cereal boxes with holes punched in the top.
Musician Kelsey Lu and an entire entourage found their way to an empty field in Oregon. Actor Zachary Quinto was in Boulder Creek, Idaho. Candice Bergen, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, and Mary Steenburgen pause their book club to observe the event. And Lady Gaga had a message for any potential extraterrestrial observers looking down as she peered up at the sky through both sunglasses and eclipse glasses: “TAKE ME,” she wrote on here right hand, “TO YOUR PLANET,” her left finished.
And even for those who didn’t make it afield—or, at least, didn’t document their travails—there were more than a few eclipse-themed posts. See, for example, Kim Kardashian’s post with her kids North and Saint, captioned “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (Bonnie Tyler arguably had the best eclipse), or Gigi Hadid’s vintage ABC News report from the last eclipse to pass over the contiguous United States, back in 1979.
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