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Eclipse: Family over the moon with totality baby

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/22/2017 Melissa Nelson Gabriel
Charlotte Roel Easterly was born at Pensacola's Sacred Heart Hospital at 1:35 p.m. on Monday during the height of the rare solar eclipse. © Karen Lee Charlotte Roel Easterly was born at Pensacola's Sacred Heart Hospital at 1:35 p.m. on Monday during the height of the rare solar eclipse.

PENSACOLA, Fla. — As the moon made its way across the sun during a rare solar eclipse on Monday, Charlotte Roel Easterly said hello to the world

The 7-pound, 11-ounce baby girl was born at Sacred Hospital at 1:36 p.m. CT at the exact moment of the height of the eclipse in Pensacola. 

"It was literally during the eclipse, it was the most amazing thing," said Karen Lee, the baby's aunt. 

Even in the busy maternity ward, employees and patient family members took turns going outside with special glasses to view the eclipse, Lee said. 

"People had been talking about it all day," said Lee.

USA TODAY Network: Complete coverage of the solar eclipse

Her sister, Taria White, went into labor around 9 a.m. 

Lee said her sister had joked months earlier that she was going to have the baby during the eclipse, but it was an unexpected surprise when Charlotte was actually born during the height of the rare solar event.

The odds were, well, astronomical. It takes three celestial bodies (the sun, moon and Earth) all of which are on various orbital paths, to line up in the exact way at the right time to create an eclipse. The last total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. was on Feb. 26, 1979. Monday's total eclipse was visible in the U.S. only — the first time that's happened since the country's founding in 1776, according to USA TODAY.

"It was really special," Lee said. 

More: Solar eclipse: A timelapse shows how the eclipse looked from across the country

Kelsi Gulig, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said another baby was born at the hospital within hours of the eclipse. She said Charlotte was the only baby born during the height of the eclipse. 

Charlotte's older brother, 5-year-old Maddox, met his new sister later Monday. Maddox and his Cordova Park Elementary School classmates learned about the eclipse earlier during the day. 

Lee said Maddox talked to his sister about the eclipse. 

"He was really excited," she said. 

Despite the hectic pace in the maternity ward, Lee said she also took time to go outside and see the eclipse.

"At one point, it seemed like there were more people outside the hospital than there were inside. Everyone wanted to see the eclipse," she said. 

   

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