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Partial solar eclipse over Mideast, Europe

January 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
People around the world witnessed a partial solar eclipse Tuesday.It started in the Mideast, as the moon came between the Earth and the sun casting its shadow.

Some spectators were lucky enough to see it over the pyramids in Egypt.

The eclipse came at sunrise in many parts of Western Europe.

In Norway and Sweden, the moon blocked 90 percent of the sun.

People in Russia, Mongolia and northwest China saw it at sunset.

As much as two-thirds of the sun slipped from view behind the moon, something that hasn't occurred in Switzerland since August 1999. A more minor eclipse happened in August 2008.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon lines up between the sun and the Earth, casting a lunar shadow on the Earth's surface and obscuring the solar disk.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.