Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Longest annular eclipse provides spectacle

A solar eclipse that reduced the sun to a blazing ring surrounding a black disk has entered the record books as the longest annular eclipse for 1000 years.

The phenomenon which lasted eleven minutes and eight seconds, set a record that will not be beaten for another millennium.

An annular eclipse occurs when the moon only blocks the sun's middle therefore creating a ring, and could be seen across parts of Central Africa, the Maldives, southern India, northern Sri Lanka, parts of Burma and China.

Local media in the affected areas issued warnings about the dangers of looking directly at the sun, but fascinated onlookers thronged streets to witness the occasion and were plunged into semi-darkness.

These pictures are from Uganda and Kenya.

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