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Photos of people looking at solar eclipses from 1907 to the present day

1927: A London schoolteacher instructs his students not to view the sun with the naked eye but to use instead two dense photographic negatives sandwiched together to protect their eyes.
1927: A London schoolteacher instructs his students not to view the sun with the naked eye but to use instead two dense photographic negatives sandwiched together to protect their eyes. (Kirby/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

In a little over a week, sky gazers across North America will be treated to a total solar eclipse, turning day into night for tens of millions of people from Mexico to Canada.

An eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the Earth and the sun. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the sun.

And they are pretty rare. Over the past century, only 13 total solar eclipses have been visible in the United States. And the next one, in Alaska, won’t occur until 2033.

That’s why there is a lot of anticipation for the April 8 total solar eclipse, which will be at least partially visible in all 50 states (except Alaska) and entirely visible in 13 — from Texas to Maine — along the so-called path of totality.

In the meantime, enjoy this collection of historical images of people around the world looking at solar eclipses, total and partial, from 1907 to the present day.

1907: People observe a solar eclipse near the Cherniaevo Station in the Tian-Shan mountains above the Saliuktin mines, Golodnaia Steppe, Kyrgyzstan.
1907: People observe a solar eclipse near the Cherniaevo Station in the Tian-Shan mountains above the Saliuktin mines, Golodnaia Steppe, Kyrgyzstan. (Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii/Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
1920: Schoolchildren and their teacher watch a solar eclipse in England.
1920: Schoolchildren and their teacher watch a solar eclipse in England. (Culture Club/Getty Images)
1921: Women observing a solar eclipse in Paris.
1921: Women observe a solar eclipse in Paris. (Corbis via Getty Images)
1923: A crowd in a California town observes a total solar eclipse.
1923: A crowd in a California town observes a total solar eclipse. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images)
1927: Nurses observe a solar eclipse through special dark glasses in England.
1927: Nurses observe a solar eclipse through special dark glasses in England. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)
1927: A large crowd of people observe a solar eclipse from the grounds of Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, England.
1927: A large crowd of people observe a solar eclipse from the grounds of Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, England. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)
1936: An amateur astronomer photographs an eclipse of the sun from the middle of a road.
1936: An amateur astronomer photographs an eclipse of the sun from the middle of a road. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
1936: Visitors to the Treptower astronomical observatory in Berlin view an eclipse.
1936: Visitors to the Treptower astronomical observatory in Berlin view an eclipse. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1936: People view an eclipse in London.
1936: People view an eclipse in London. (E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
1948: People look at an eclipse through cardboard in Sydney, Australia.
1948: People look at an eclipse through cardboard in Sydney, Australia. (Norman Brown/Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
1973: An astronomer with Educational Expeditions International in Mauritania's desert uses astronomical equipment to view a total solar eclipse.
1973: An astronomer with Educational Expeditions International in Mauritania's desert uses astronomical equipment to view a total solar eclipse. (Jonathan Blair/Corbis via Getty Images)
1991: A multiple-exposure photograph shows the progress of a solar eclipse over Xochicalco, Mexico.
1991: A multiple-exposure photograph shows the progress of a solar eclipse over Xochicalco, Mexico. (Omar Torres/AFP via Getty Images)
1995: A Cambodian monk, wearing safety glasses, watches the beginning of a full solar eclipse.
1995: A Cambodian monk, wearing safety glasses, watches the beginning of a full solar eclipse. (Doug Niven/AFP via Getty Images)
1996: Hundreds of people observe an eclipse in Toulouse, France.
1996: Hundreds of people observe an eclipse in Toulouse, France, (Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images)
1998: The corona of the sun is visible around the moon during a total solar eclipse as seen in Guadeloupe.
1998: The corona of the sun is visible around the moon during a total solar eclipse as seen in Guadeloupe. (Space Frontiers/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1998: Men in suits watch a total solar eclipse visible through special glasses in downtown Bogota, Colombia.
1998: Men in suits watch a total solar eclipse visible through special glasses in downtown Bogota, Colombia. (Meredith Davenport/AFP via Getty Images)
1998: A man looks at an eclipse through a cardboard box in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
1998: A man looks at an eclipse through a cardboard box in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Thony Belizaire/AFP via Getty Images)
1999: A woman views an eclipse outside a mosque in Isfahan, Iran.
1999: A woman views an eclipse outside a mosque in Isfahan, Iran. (Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)
1999: People view a solar eclipse in Vauville, France.
1999: People view a solar eclipse in Vauville, France. (Michel Lambert/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
1999: Hundreds of people view an eclipse from a hillside in Étretat, France.
1999: Hundreds of people view an eclipse from a hillside in Étretat, France. (Yves Forestier/Sygma via Getty Images)
1999: Children view an eclipse from Eclipse Road in London.
1999: Children view an eclipse from Eclipse Road in London. (Fiona Hanson/PA Images via Getty Images)
1999: Peruvian sisters take a break during their pilgrimage to view the solar eclipse in front of Notre Dame de Lourdes in France.
1999: Peruvian sisters take a break during their pilgrimage to view the solar eclipse in front of Notre Dame de Lourdes in France. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images)
1999: Eclipse watchers in Beirut find novel means of protecting ther eyesight while viewing the last total solar eclipse of the 20th century.
1999: Eclipse watchers in Beirut find novel means of protecting ther eyesight while viewing the last total solar eclipse of the 20th century. (Oussama Ayoub/AFP via Getty Images)
2001: A young boy observers a partial eclipse with protective lenses in Guatemala City.
2001: A young boy observers a partial eclipse with protective lenses in Guatemala City. (David Herrera/AFP via Getty Images)
2001: A woman  observes a solar eclipse through a protective shield in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
2001: A woman observes a solar eclipse through a protective shield in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. (Teresita Chavarria/AFP via Getty Images)
2005: A woman looks at an annular eclipse through a bottle in Rabat, Morocco.
2005: A woman looks at an annular eclipse through a plastic bottle in Rabat, Morocco. (Abdelhak Senna/AFP via Getty Images)
2005: People use protective glasses to view an annular eclipse at the Planetarium in Madrid.
2005: People use protective glasses to view an annular eclipse at the Planetarium in Madrid. (Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
2005: A person observes the eclipse in Aiges-Mortes, France.
2005: A person observes the eclipse in Aiges-Mortes, France. (Dominique Faget/AFP via Getty Images)
2009: A man observes the solar eclipse in Shenyang, China.
2009: A man observes the solar eclipse in Shenyang, China. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
2009: People use special filters to view a partial solar eclipse setting over a beach in Hong Kong.
2009: People use special filters to view a partial solar eclipse setting over a beach in Hong Kong. (Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images)
2009: People observe a total solar eclipse in Chengdu, China.
2009: People observe a total solar eclipse in Chengdu, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)
2009: This multiple-exposure image shows the various stages of the total solar eclipse as seen from Guwahati, India.
2009: This multiple-exposure image shows the various stages of the total solar eclipse as seen from Guwahati, India. (Biju Boro/AFP via Getty Images)
2009: A group of children observe a total solar eclipse in Wenzhou, China.
2009: A group of children observe a total solar eclipse in Wenzhou, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)
2010: Residents of a village in Nairobi, Kenya, share a pair of dark goggles as they look at a solar eclipse.
2010: Residents of a village in Nairobi, Kenya, share a pair of dark goggles as they look at a solar eclipse. (Simon Mainia/AFP via Getty Images)
2010: People observe an annular eclipse in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, South India.
2010: People observe an annular eclipse in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, South India. (EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)
2012: People react as they see the
2012: People react as they see the "ring of fire" or annular solar eclipse in Kanarraville, Utah. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
2012: The
2012: The "ring of fire" annular solar eclipse is photographed in Kanarraville, Utah. (Robyn Beck/AFP/GettyImages)
2017: People use special glasses to watch the beginning of a solar eclipse in Cross Plains, Tenn.
2017: People use special glasses to watch the beginning of a solar eclipse in Cross Plains, Tenn. (Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
2017: People watch a total solar eclipse from atop a hiking trail in Oregon's Painted Hills.
2017: People watch a total solar eclipse from atop a hiking trail in Oregon's Painted Hills. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)
2017: A composite image shows the solar eclipse from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.
2017: A composite image shows the solar eclipse from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
2019: A man looks up at a total solar eclipse in La Higuera, Chile.
2019: A man looks up at a total solar eclipse in La Higuera, Chile. (Esteban Felix/AP)
2020: A man dressed as Santa Claus uses special protective glasses to observe the solar eclipse in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina.
2020: A man dressed as Santa Claus uses special protective glasses to observe the solar eclipse in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
2021: People view a total solar eclipse from Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica.
2021: People view a total solar eclipse from Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica. (Felipe Trueba/ Imagen Chile via AP)

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