MINNEAPOLIS -- While many Minnesotans didn't get a great look at the highly anticipated solar eclipse, millions were captivated by Monday's event.

In the Twin Cities, the expected 83 percent viewing of the eclipse began at 11:44 a.m., peaked at 1:07 p.m., and then ended at about 2:30 p.m.

However, many locals only saw heavy cloud coverage.

Eclipse timeline for Twin Cities
Eclipse timeline for Twin Cities

Related: Mostly cloudy for the eclipse

Around the nation, millions of astronomers-for-a-day gasped and cheered Monday in hundreds of cities, towns and parks along a 70-mile-wide "path of totality" as the much-ballyhooed Great American Eclipse rolled across the nation.

The total solar eclipse — the moon completely obscuring the sun — started along Oregon's west coast shortly after noon, darkening the skies for just a few minutes in the middle of a sunny day. The total eclipse will wrap up along coastal South Carolina before 2 p.m.

Related: Avoiding fake solar eclipse glasses

Before Monday's historical event, many doctors urged those wanting to view the solar eclipse to take proper precautions.

"If you remember back in the day when you'd go out on a sunny day with a magnifying glass and you'd burn a hole in a leaf or a piece of paper, that's exactly what can happen if you look at the sun during an eclipse," said Dr. Linda Chous, UnitedHealthcare's chief eye care officer. "It's burning a hole in the retina, which is like the camera film inside the eye. If that occurs, that hole can't be repaired and you can have a spot in the center of your vision for the rest of your life."

Related: Solar eclipse 2017: Anticipation builds as millions pack prime viewing spots

Compliant solar eclipse glasses should have the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) code, "ISO 12312-2" printed on the glasses. The American Astronomical Society has received reports of fake glasses using the code, so you can find a full list of reputable solar viewer brands here.

Some people are turning to welding helmets, but according to NASA, the only ones that are safe for direct viewing of the sun are those of Shade 12 or higher.

If you don't have proper protection, you can make a pinhole projector to safely view the eclipse.

Millions of people will want to capture the moment. NASA has a guide for capturing the solar eclipse on your smartphone. Apple told USA Today that its iPhone doesn't need a filter when taking a quick photo of the eclipse but NASA still recommends using a pair of ISO-certified sun-viewing glasses to cover the camera lens.

Related: Apps to help enhance the eclipse experience

Many solar eclipse viewing parties will happen across the state, including at Afton State Park, Dodge Nature Center, Lebanon Hills Regional Park and Silverwood Park.

The Science Museum of Minnesota will be hosting eclipse-themed activities and a viewing party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dakota County's Galaxie Library will be hosting Peter Mendygral, an astrophysicist at the University of Minnesota, who will be talking about solar eclipses.

The Hennepin County Library is also hold viewing parties at 11 of its libraries and STEM programming for kids and teens.

The St. Paul Public Library also has a list of events on its website.

Many of these events are also providing eclipse viewing glasses.

NASA will also be live streaming the total solar eclipse 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.