South Floridians Get a Great View of the Solar Eclipse

The day many have been waiting for finally arrived as the Great American Eclipse made its way across the country and many in South Florida saw a part of the rare event.

While Miami-Dade and Broward counties were nowhere close to the "Path of Totality" – an area starting in Oregon and moving across the Midwest to South Carolina – many saw a partial eclipse with nearly 50 percent of the sun being covered.

In Miami, the action started at 1:26 p.m. with the best time for viewing the eclipse coming at 2:58 p.m. and ending at 4:20 p.m.

It was virtually the same times in Fort Lauderdale, with the best time for viewing being one minute earlier at 2:57 p.m. In Key West, the eclipse times were all one minute sooner than Miami.

Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the event without risking being outdoors were at watch parties across the area, including one at Florida International University and one at the Frost Museum of Science in Miami.

"It's as impressive as I thought, it's pretty cool," said Carlos Ruiz, who attended the FIU event. "Just glad I got a chance to do this, it's pretty fun."

At the Frost Museum, solar telescopes were setup at several spots so guests had a unique chance to check out the phenomenon in the sky. Those telescopes have special filters to protect their eyes from the sun.

NBC 6’s Kelly Blanco tells you what to do and not do if you are on the road Monday afternoon during the event.

The museum was also broadcasting NASA's live feed of the eclipse from different huge screens in the museum.

"I have been a science lover since I can remember and to see everyone else excited about science right now is really so exciting," said museum employee Lindsey Bartholomew. "I think people should remember this is really cool, we're going to be in the moon's shadow, how cool is that? We'll be in the moon's shadow."

The museum had 5,000 of the approved glasses that were handed out on a first come, first serve basis to anyone that purchased a ticket.

"I think if the United States public sees that science works and sees that we can predict these things, it might broaden their minds to embrace science again as we used to do back in the 60s and 70s," said Dr. James Webb, the director of FIU's Astro Science Center.

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