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“I’ve started,” he said. “It’s going to turn into a compulsion and then into a habit and then I won’t be able to break it. I’ll have to see every eclipse from now on.”

So what’s the fascination?

Watchers agree there’s simply nothing like it and it doesn’t really matter whether people are behind a pair of solar glasses or watching it on a smartphone.

“I think it’s something that really goes to the inner soul, the guts, the real inside of who we are as human beings,” Olson said. “We’re drawn to the sun. We’re drawn to the stars at night.”

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Follow Susan Montoya Bryan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susanmbryanNM