On December 14, 2020, a camera onboard a satellite recorded something that looked like a brown blob streaking across South America. Individuals on the ground witnessed something more striking: a total solar eclipse, or a daytime blackout triggered by the moon blocking the sun and throwing its shadow on Earth. Though total solar eclipses happen relatively frequently—about once every 18 months—seeing them is lucky. In about 600 million years, total eclipses will stop. The temporary nature of these alignments makes all their recordings valuable, even when the perspective makes what feels like a boundary-breaking moment—shocking darkness in the middle of the day—seem small.