Americans with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses staked out viewing spots along a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the midday sun Monday in what promised to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history.
Sky-watchers everywhere — and millions were expected to peer into the sun — fretted about the weather and hoped for clear skies for the first total solar eclipse to sweep coast-to-coast across the U.S. in practically a century.
As he set up telescopes, Ray Cooper, a volunteer with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Salem, worried offshore clouds might roll in and spoil the two-minute show.
On Monday, millions of Americans will look up to watch the moon completely cover the sun. For a couple of minutes, the sky will become dark. Birds will flock to their nests. The temperature will drop significantly. Bright stars and planets will come out of hiding.
It's a celestial event astronomers have spent years preparing for and so-called "eclipse chasers" from all over the world have booked up hotel rooms in its path months, even years, in advance. Some have changed their lives for it.
"I retired at the end of last year because of this eclipse," eclipse chaser and amateur astronomer Jackie Beucher said.
Americans across the country readied their telescopes and viewing glasses as... View gallery »
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A man wearing what appeared to be an explosives belt was shot outside Barcelona Monday, regional police said.
The police activity comes after police Spanish authorities said they were hunting for the fugitive who mowed down tourists in Barcelona last week, then stole a car and stabbed its owner to death as he made his getaway. Also Monday, authorities raised the death toll in the country's two vehicle attacks to 15.
It wasn't immediately clear if the person shot in Subirats, a small town 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Barcelona, on Monday was Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, the target of an international manhunt since Thursday's van attack in Barcelona. Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported Abouyaaqoub was captured, but Catalan police tweeted only that there was an ongoing police operation and did not confirm his capture.
U.S. military photos
The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after an early morning collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters left 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.
It was the second major collision in the last two months involving the Navy's 7th Fleet. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in waters off Japan.
Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, will call for a pause in operations and seek a deeper look at how the Navy trains and certifies its forces that are operating around Japan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.
Driving while the total solar eclipse is happening on August 21? Here are seven tips that will ensure your safety while driving.
Two people attacked a judge in Ohio who was walking to work at the Jefferson County Courthouse Monday morning, wounding him after gunfire broke out, NBC News reported.
Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese, Jr. fired back at the attackers, as did a probation officer, after at least one of the suspects opened fire, Steubenville City Manager James Mavromatis told reporters.
One suspect is dead while the other is in custody. Mavromatis said both had criminal records.
"Clearly looking at the one video, you see the attacker coming up toward him," Mavromatis said. "I'd say he was the intended target."
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Baseball fans in more than a half-dozen cities are heading to ballparks to watch the solar eclipse as teams look to cash in with game-day viewing parties.
Minor league teams from Oregon to South Carolina have scheduled games Monday to coincide with the total eclipse as it streaks across the United States.
In Nebraska, the Lincoln Saltdogs will wear special eclipse jerseys and stop their game to watch the full eclipse at 1:02 p.m. The team says it has sold tickets to buyers from as far away as the United Kingdom and Germany.
Other teams hosting events include the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Idaho Falls Chukars, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Nashville Sounds, Greenville Drive, Columbia Fireflies and Charleston RiverDogs.
No big league games are scheduled to coincide with the eclipse.
Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center
A Pennsylvania wildlife center says a 30-year-old bald eagle that was being treated for lead poisoning has died less than two weeks after two other eagles died of the same cause.
The Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Saegertown announced the bird's death on Facebook on Sunday.
The bird was captured Aug. 13 after it allowed people to get unusually close. Blood tests confirmed lead poisoning.
The huge raised-relief images show a Confederate trinity sitting astride their horses, high above the ground. Hats held across their chests, President Jefferson Davis and Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson ride across the face of Stone Mountain into faded glory.
Part theme park and part shrine to Dixie's Lost Cause, this granite outcrop east of Atlanta — sculpted like a Mt. Rushmore of the Confederacy — is once again an ideological battlefield as a new fight rages over rebel symbolism across the South.
In the aftermath of the Aug. 12 white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a Democratic candidate for Georgia governor said the carving should be removed. But removal would probably mean destroying a work of public art that took decades to complete and is the centerpiece of one of Georgia's biggest tourist destinations.
Prince George's County Police Department
The man who police say has confessed to stabbing his 6-year-old sister and two young cousins Friday made a series of strange outbursts during a wild court hearing Monday, and will now get a mental evaluation.
NBC 5 News
American workers ducking out to view Monday's total solar eclipse will cost employers at least $694 million, according to one estimate.
Reuters reported that a outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found workers will head out of the office for roughly 20 minutes a piece, though that may be a conservative estimate, according to a vice president at the Chicago-based firm.
"There's very few people who are not going to walk outside when there's a celestial wonder happening above their heads to go out and view it," Andy Challenger said.
But those hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity pale in comparison to the amount lost to other events, like March Madness and Cyber Monday.
Get More at NBC News
U.S. military photo
Vessels from several nations are searching Southeast Asian waters for 10 missing U.S. sailors after an early morning collision Monday between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker ripped a gaping hole in the destroyer's hull.
The collision east of Singapore between the guided missile destroyer and the 183-meter (600-foot) Alnic MC was the second involving a ship from the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months.
Vessels and aircraft from the U.S., Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia are searching for the missing sailors. Four other sailors were evacuated by a Singaporean navy helicopter to a hospital in the city-state for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, the Navy said. A fifth injured sailor did not require further medical attention.
A horseplayer Saturday turned 40 cents into more than $250,000, hitting the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park.
Gulfstream's Rainbow 6 is a 20-cent bet. The bettor, who was using a New York Racing Association wagering account, played two combinations — and connected for $259,573.34.
Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images
A van rammed into two bus stops about 5 kilometers (3 miles) apart in the French port city of Marseille on Monday, killing one person and injuring another, police officials said.
The driver of the van, arrested in a third location, was a 35-year-old from the Grenoble region in eastern France who was being treated for psychological problems, an official at police headquarters said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with French law enforcement practice.
The anti-terror prosecutor has not so far stepped into the case, meaning there was no obvious initial sign that it was an extremist attack.