The Great American Eclipse that occurred near the end of August was more popular and gained more viewership than the Super Bowl, according to a new study. Over 200 million people took a few minutes out of their day to watch this once in a lifetime event as it was unfolding.
That’s almost 90 percent of all American adults. This is a percentage nearly twice the number of people who tuned in for the most recent Super Bowl, according to Nielsen ratings, which report that the Super Bowl gathered 111 million viewers earlier this year.
The Great American Eclipse, a Unique but Not Uncommon Event?
Of the over 200 million people who watched the Great American Eclipse, 154 million actually got to see it live. These reported having ventured outside to see the Moon cover the Sun. They were able to see this either partially or in full. The other 60 plus million people seem to have watched the eclipse electronically.
Solar eclipses are actually not a rare occurrence, as they happen once every year and a half or so. However, the path of totality, which is the part of the Earth that actually sees the Moon completely cover the Sun, is often in places with no or minimal human habitation. The path of totality for the Great American Eclipse which occurred over a month ago happened to travel through the United States.
According to this new study, not only did American adults watch the eclipse, they seemed to have enjoyed it, too. When asked to rate it on a ten point scale, the eclipse averaged a 7.0. This includes people who watched in person and those who followed it online.
NASA livestreamed the eclipse for those who were unable to physically be in the path of totality. During the day of the eclipse, the NASA website had more than 90 million visits. That’s seven times more visitors than on an average day for the site, according to reports.
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