Great American Solar Eclipse Breaks NASA's Web-Viewing Records

Total Solar Eclipse: Diamond Ring
The “diamond-ring effect” is seen during the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017. This photo was taken from a NASA Gulfstream III aircraft flying 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) over the Oregon coast. (Image credit: Carla Thomas/NASA)

In case you didn't notice, people were really into the Great American Solar Eclipse. I mean, really into it. Just take it from NASA.

"With more than 90 million page views on and, we topped our previous web traffic record about seven times over," agency officials wrote in a postmortem on Thursday (Aug. 24). "For much of the eclipse, we had more than a million simultaneous users on our sites. On social media, we reached more than 3.6 billion nonunique users, and Twitter reports there were more than 6 million eclipse tweets that day."

NASA also estimates that its live eclipse webcast Monday (Aug. 21) got more than 40 million views, another huge number.

"The numbers alone are several times larger than reported streaming numbers for recent Super Bowls, putting the eclipse in the realm of major news, sports and entertainment events," agency officials wrote.  

User sessions on NASA websites from May 2015-present, as measured by Google Analytics. (Image credit: NASA)

The excitement isn't hard to understand. The path of totality Monday extended from Oregon to South Carolina, marking the first time that a total solar eclipse had crossed the U.S. mainland coast to coast since 1918. And no total solar eclipse had even touched the continental United States since 1979.

If you missed Monday's big event, don't fret: Another total solar eclipse will darken American skies on April 8, 2024, moving northeast from Mexico to Texas and then all the way to Maine and up into Canada. Maybe that one will break some more records.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.