Solar eclipse dazzles Central Florida

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From Gainesville to the coast, Central Floridians took Monday off to stare at the sky in wonder, and join the entire country in viewing the solar eclipse.

The celestial spectacle crossed over the Sunshine State around the 2 p.m. hour and hit totality at about 2:51 p.m. in Orlando.

Though it only reached about 80% coverage in the area it still brought crowds of people to popular spots in the area to watch.

The Orlando Science Center had an estimated crowd of about 3000 people on site to view the eclipse together.

Staff at the Center offered protective eyewear to attendees and space on their outdoor decks and lawn to watch.

Elsewhere Seminole State College, the Kennedy Space Center, and even the coastal beaches drew big crowds to look at the, potentially, once in a lifetime experience.

Monday’s eclipse was the first in nearly a century to cross the US from coast-to-coast and be visible to the entire country. Many traveled to the states directly in the center of the eclipse’s path to see day turn to night briefly and experience the total solar eclipse.

Central Florida will have more shots in the future to see partial eclipses and will get the chance to see their next total eclipse on August 12, 2045.