All else on Monday was eclipsed by a major celestial event: a total solar eclipse that brought thousands of onlookers to areas of New England.

While the path of totality passed through areas of Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire, those in Greater Boston got to see a 93% partial eclipse on Monday. Spectators gathered at outdoor spaces across the region as the moon covered all but a crescent of the sun's light.

“It's just Mother Nature coming in and saying, 'Hey, I got something for you if you want to see it,'“ said Francis Kolarik, who lives in Cambridge.


At Harvard University, The Center for Astrophysics and Harvard College Observatory hosted a public event for viewing of the eclipse. Hundreds of people came out to Science Center Plaza to view the rare moment, with telescopes and solar eclipse glasses on hand. Also on site were pinhole cameras, cyanotype prints of the sun, and a live feed of the totality.

There's great energy and it's nice to see all the support, and to see everyone excited about taking about witnessing something that nature provides,” said Jennifer Levi, a Harvard employee.

Also available at the event were LightSound sonification devices for people who are blind or with low vision. The devices convert the brightness of the sun into sound as the light dims.

Daniel Davis, a lecturer at Harvard, helped out with the initial prototype. He said more than 900 LightSound devices have been distributed across the United States, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

“Experiencing a phenomenon in isolation can be very isolating and very lonely,” he said. “And so making a device like that can convert light levels into sound, actually lets the blind and low vision community partake in the eclipse with others so that they feel included in the process, and also so that they can exchange ideas and appreciation for the event.”

The moon started to move in front of the sun at 2 p.m., reaching peak coverage around 3:30 p.m.

As Cambridge was not in the path of totality, it was unsafe to look directly at the sun or point a telescope, binoculars or a camera at it without wearing proper eclipse glasses.

It's kind of like something that you only see, like, online, like when you're not in like the totality zone,” said Michael Yoro, a Harvard student originally from Hawaii. He had never seen an eclipse before. It's just like you want to be a part of something historical.”