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Thousands view solar eclipse event

Published 15/01/2010

Residents watch a solar eclipse in Amman, Jordan
Residents watch a solar eclipse in Amman, Jordan

Thousands of people in Africa and Asia have viewed an eclipse as the moon crossed the sun's path blocking everything but a narrow, blazing rim of light.

The path of the eclipse began in Africa - passing through Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya and Somalia before crossing the Indian Ocean, where it reached its peak, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration website.

The path then continued into Asia where the eclipse could be seen in the Maldives, southern India, parts of Sri Lanka, Burma and China.

Clouds obscured the partial solar eclipse in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, disappointing residents who were up early to catch a glimpse.

The eclipse is known as an annular eclipse because the moon does not block the sun completely.

Annular eclipses, which are considered far less important to astronomers than total eclipses of the sun, occur about 66 times a century and can only be viewed by people in the narrow band along its path.

In Uganda, locals refer to an eclipse as a war between the sun and moon.

Friday's eclipse was visible from a 190 mile-wide path that passes through half the globe, according to the Nasa website.

The last total eclipse of the sun was on July 22 2009, when it was visible in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and some Japanese islands.

Press Association

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