Science

Solar eclipse wows stargazers in Africa, Asia and the Middle East

It was known as a ‘ring of fire' because the moon covered most, but not all, of the sun

Stargazers in Africa, Asia and parts of the Middle East looked to the skies this weekend to witness a partial solar eclipse.

It was known as a “ring of fire” because the moon covered most, but not all, of the sun.

Hong Kong Solar Eclipse
People watch the solar eclipse at a waterfront in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

Millions from Dubai to Taiwan, and Japan to India watched the solar spectacle.

In Dubai, people could see over 85% of the sun covered by moon, with photographers taking stunning photos of the eclipse over the majestic Burj Khalifa building.

Taiwan Solar Eclipse
The solar eclipse seen through Astro Solar glass (Chiang Ying-ying/AP)

It was a sight that will not be possible in the country for another 14 years, according to chief executive officer of Dubai Astronomy Group Hasan al-Hariri.

Mr al-Hariri said while the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had halted their plans for a gathering to see the rare phenomena, the group has turned to the internet to help people observe the partial eclipse, providing a live feed of the moon as it passes between the earth and the sun.

China Solar Eclipse
A figure on a roof eave of the historic Bell Tower is silhouetted by the sun during a partial solar eclipse in Beijing (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

Hew said: “An eclipse is kind of a rare event. It usually happens two times in a year, but it differs from location to location so it’s not fixed in one location.

“Now we were fortunate to have it, the one which was in December last year and this one, and then we will have one similar to this after 14 years. So it’s kind of something a bit rare to observe.”

Taiwan Solar Eclipse
A dog in Chiayi City wears sunglasses to view the solar eclipse (Chiang Ying-ying/AP)

The observatory also sold solar eclipse glasses to the public to observe the eclipse safely.

An overcast sky did not deter enthusiasts in India with the partial eclipse also visible in the New Delhi sky.

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