Eclipse rates as America’s most watched event

Eclipse watchers
Eclipse watchers turned Aug. 21’s event into a party at Kerry Park in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

More than 215 million American adults, representing almost 88 percent of the U.S. population over 18, watched August’s solar eclipse in person and on screens, according to a newly published survey.

That’s nearly twice the size of the TV viewership for recent Super Bowl football championships.

“This level of public interest and engagement with a science-oriented event is unparalleled,” Jon Miller, director of the International Center for the Advancement of Scientific Literacy at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, said in a news release.

Miller’s preliminary study, conducted in cooperation with NASA, was based on online and phone surveys involving a nationwide, representative sample of 2,221 adults.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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