The moon passed directly in front of the sun, causing a total solar eclipse that crossed nearly half the Earth - through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. Today's was the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting as much as 6 minutes and 39 seconds in a few areas. Despite cloudy skies in many of the populated areas in the path, millions of people gathered outside to gaze up and view this rare event. Collected here are a few images of the eclipse, and those people who came out to watch.

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A partial solar eclipse is seen through clouds in Hyderabad, Pakistan on Wednesday, July 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)


In this handout image provided by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the sun's corona is clearly visible during the solar eclipse on July 22, 2009, seen near Iwojima Island, Tokyo, Japan. (Hideo Fukushima/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan via Getty Images)



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