North America in tense anticipation of solar eclipse

In a band diagonally across North America – from the Pacific coast of Mexico, across 15 US states and finally out across the Atlantic at Newfoundland on Canada’s east coast – the day will turn to dusk in a matter of minutes.

In many places, meticulous preparations for the event have been going on for a long time. Amounts of visitors can be an injection into the economy and at the same time large and small towns are exposed to logistical challenges. In many places, the hotel rooms have been fully booked for several months.

“A kind of reverence”

Bill Nelson of the US space agency Nasa thinks solar eclipses have a special power.

– They make people feel a kind of reverence for the beauty of our universe, he tells the AFP news agency.

Tens of millions of people live in the approximately 18 mile wide band where the total solar eclipse will be visible, and around a couple of hundred million others live not far from there.

The event is expected to be one of the world’s most filmed and photographed this year, but in order to take the best pictures it is important to be in the right area and – not least – that the phenomenon does not happen to be covered by clouds during the few minutes that everything is about.

The weather agency NWS is counting down and coming up with daily forecasts of clouds that can cover the solar eclipse’s stretch, and tips abound about camera filters, settings and tripods, reports the AP news agency.