Under a cloudless sky, about 20,000 eclipse chasers watched a rare solar eclipse plunge part of Australia's northwest coast into brief midday darkness Thursday with an accompanying temperature drop.
"We were contacted by people all over the country who said, 'We'd like to collect glasses for you, how do we become a collection center?' " says Mike Simmons, president of Astronomers Without Borders.
The eclipse will happen on July 2. Its path of totality cuts across much of the south Pacific Ocean as well as Argentina and Chile — including a telescope that is one the world's largest.
Officials blame the failure of a pen near Washington's Cypress Island on high tides caused by the eclipse, but that is being questioned. Fishing boats are scrambling to catch as many as possible.
NASA was on eclipse watch as the moon blocked the sun in a celestial coincidence Monday. A segment of the country from Oregon to South Carolina was in the so-called path of totality.