PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP)— Millions of Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

At the White House, despite all the warnings from experts about the risk of eye damage, President Donald Trump took off his eclipse glasses and looked directly at the sun.

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US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump look up at the partial solar eclipse from the balcony of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 21, 2017. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Photos catch the president, First Lady Melania Trump and his son Barron taking in the spectacle from the Truman Balcony of the White House.

US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron look up at the partial solar eclipse from the balcony of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 21, 2017.
(Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Photos also show the president later wearing some protective lenses.

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The Earth, moon and sun lineup perfectly everyone to three years, briefly turning day into night for a sliver of the planet. But these sights normally are in no man’s land, like the vast Pacific or Earth’s poles. This is the first eclipse of the social media era to pass through such a heavily populated area.

The moon hasn’t thrown this much shade at the U.S. since 1918, during the nation’s last coast-to-coast total eclipse. The last total solar eclipse on the U.S. was in 1979, but only five states in the Northwest experienced total darkness.

The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be in 2024. The next coast-to-coast one will not be until 2045.

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