The eclipse wasn’t just visible here on Earth — it was visible from above it as well! Sometimes the view looked rather familiar, as here, from the ISS (shot by astronaut Randy Bresnik). Why so familiar? Well, the ISS isn’t actually that much higher than where we are on the ground. Just 250 or so miles closer to a Moon that is a quarter of a million miles away.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory also got a view from its sun-synchronous orbit. It’s view is a little bit different, because it actually orbits well above to geosynchronous altitude, and sometimes sees very different solar eclipses compared to what we see — from its perspective, the Moon can appear much smaller or much larger, depending on the specific orbital circumstances at the time of the eclipse. Most of the eclipses seen by SDO are not visible at all from Earth.
But the coolest images of the eclipse from space are, in my opinion, those of the Earth. From this perspective, what we see as a total solar eclipse is more like a lunar eclipse, because here you’re not seeing the Sun eclipsed. Instead, you’re seeing the Moon’s shadow passing over the Earth. Here it is, looking quite ominous in some clouds as seen by the ISS:
This one looks less ominous as it’s less zoomed in, but it has better context as you can see part of the ISS’s solar arrays, radiators, the tanks on the Quest airlock, the Rassvet module, and the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft which delivered the most recent ISS crewmates: Sergey Ryazanskiy, Randy Bresnik, and Paolo Nespoli.
And of course lastly, there’s the ultimate solar-eclipse-from-space view, courtesy of the DSCOVR spacecraft. DSCOVR sits at the Sun-Earth L1 point, which means it gets an uninterrupted view of the Earth’s sunlit hemisphere at all times. DSCOVR’s EPIC instrument takes full-color full-disk images every two hours and transmits them back to Earth. This allows it to observe the full path of every total solar eclipse — and yes, it really does track the same way as the animations did. You may notice, however, that the shadow is much messier than the computer animations you may have seen before the eclipse; the Moon has both a penumbra and an umbra, and that makes it fuzzy. Only in the umbra (the darkest, tiny core of the shadow) do you experience totality.
All images are from NASA’s eclipse image collection, which you should really check out — it’s got more cool images that are well worth seeing!