Scientists, students and nature enthusiasts gathered in open spaces throughout China and in other parts of Asia on Wednesday to watch the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century.
The eclipse began at about 5.30 am (0000gmt) and was seen first in the eastern city of Gauhati in India, where the moon covered a slice of the sun to start the hour-long phenomenon culminated in the total eclipse.
In Vietnam's capital of Hanoi, some people watched the eclipse's reflection in a nearby lake, while in Hong Kong hundreds of people queued at the Space Museum to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.
The museum arranged a selection of telescopes on its roof, and handed out special filters to allow people to look directly at the sun during the eclipse.
Hong Kong's sky was sunny and clear on Wednesday morning, but the light became noticeably dimmer during the main period of the eclipse.
The Hong Kong Observatory reported that 74.8 per cent of the sun's diameter would be obscured by the moon at the height of the partial eclipse visible in Hong Kong.
The period of the eclipse in Hong Kong ran from 8.15am - 10.46am (0015-0246GMT) according to the Hong Kong Observatory.
At its peak, the eclipse lasted 6 minutes and 39 seconds in other parts of Asia.
It is the longest such eclipse since July 11, 1991, when a total eclipse lasting 6 minutes, 53 seconds was visible from Hawaii to South America.
There will not be a longer eclipse than Wednesday's until 2132.
Astronomers hope the eclipse will unlock clues about the sun, while some astrologers predict it could usher in chaos.
The eclipse is moving east, across India, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China before hitting the Pacific.
The eclipse will cross some southern Japanese islands and be visible last from land at Nikumaroro Island in the South Pacific nation of Kiribati. Elsewhere, a partial eclipse will be visible in much of Asia.
For astronomers, it will be a chance for a prolonged view of the sun's corona, a white ring 600,000 miles (one (m) million kilometres) from the sun's surface.
Humans have been recording solar eclipses for 4,000 years, and even today they inspire a combination of fear, fascination and wonder.
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