Solar eclipse wows stargazers in Africa, Asia, Middle East

Solar eclipse wows stargazers in Africa, Asia, Middle East
Indians wearing masks as a precaution against coronavirus watch solar eclipse through solar filters in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.) (Mahesh Kumar A)

DUBAI — (AP) — Stargazers in Africa, Asia and parts of the Middle East looked to the skies Sunday 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. It occurred during the daytime hours Sunday in areas that saw the spectacle, lasting from 11:45 p.m. EDT Saturday and until 5:34 a.m. EDT Sunday.

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

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

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.

Al-Hariri said while the 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.

“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.”

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

An overcast sky didn’t deter enthusiasts in India with the partial eclipse also visible in the New Delhi sky.

A crow sits on roof of a house as the sun forms crescent during solar eclipse in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A crow sits on roof of a house as the sun forms crescent during solar eclipse in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) (Manish Swarup)
A couple watches solar eclipse from the roof of their house in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A couple watches solar eclipse from the roof of their house in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) (Manish Swarup)
The crescent sun is seen during a solar eclipse in Dharmsala, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)
The crescent sun is seen during a solar eclipse in Dharmsala, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia) (Ashwini Bhatia)
A father and his daughter watch solar eclipse from the roof of a house in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
A father and his daughter watch solar eclipse from the roof of a house in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) (Manish Swarup)
Indians wearing masks as a precaution against coronavirus watch solar eclipse through solar filters in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
Indians wearing masks as a precaution against coronavirus watch solar eclipse through solar filters in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.) (Mahesh Kumar A)
The sun is seen through rain clouds during solar eclipse in Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
The sun is seen through rain clouds during solar eclipse in Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki) (Ajit Solanki)
The sun forms crescent during solar eclipse in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
The sun forms crescent during solar eclipse in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha) (Niranjan Shrestha)
A partial solar eclipse is seen over the Children's Peace Monument at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan Sunday, June 21, 2020. (Kyodo News via AP)
A partial solar eclipse is seen over the Children's Peace Monument at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan Sunday, June 21, 2020. (Kyodo News via AP) (Uncredited)
The sun is seen through rain clouds during solar eclipse in Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
The sun is seen through rain clouds during solar eclipse in Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki) (Ajit Solanki)
A Hindu devotee sits in a pond and performs rituals during solar eclipse at Banganga in Mumbai, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020.(AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
A Hindu devotee sits in a pond and performs rituals during solar eclipse at Banganga in Mumbai, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020.(AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) (Rajanish Kakade)