Tuesday, August 10, 1999 Published at 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Picture gallery: The world awaits the eclipse
The solar phenomenon begins in the North Atlantic, about 300 kilometres south of Nova Scotia, at 09.30 GMT. From there, the Moon's shadow will race across the surface of the Earth, through Europe, ending in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of India at 12.36 GMT.
These men in south Lebanon are setting the pace in terms of their chosen method of viewing the eclipse with these visors normally used by metal welders.
Slightly more conventional, though certainly a little bulkier, this telescope at the University of Strasbourg, France, being prepared by scientist Daniel Egret, is in the university's observatory dome.
And if you cannot get a metal welder's mask or a telescope in time for the eclipse, you could just try the glasses which have been specially designed for the eclipse. In Toulouse in south western France, most shops have sold out, hence the huge queue.
No such problem for these children in Kapfenberg, Austria....
...or these tourists in Szeged, Hungary.
Heera Lal may not be kitted out with special glasses, but he is convinced that he knows from which direction the eclipse will occur.
If you are in the UK, Cornwall is the best place to be, and after a slow start, thousands of people have headed for the south-west of England.
And at least if all else fails, there will not be any shortage of coverage on the big day. This cameraman is setting up his equipment in Stuttgart, which is on the central axis of this eclipse.