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Last Updated: Monday July 12 2010 12:33 GMT

In pictures: Total solar eclipse in Chile

Thousands of tourists and scientists gathered on Easter Island in Chile to watch the total Solar Eclipse.

Thousands of tourists and scientists gathered on Easter Island off the coast of South America to watch the total solar eclipse.

The eclipse started 440 miles south-east of Tonga, and reached Easter Island a few hours later.

The eclipse started 440 miles south-east of Tonga, and reached Easter Island a few hours later.

Some forecasters predicted that cloudy skies might block a proper view of the eclipse - but at the right time, the stormy weather turned into bright sunshine.

Some forecasters predicted that cloudy skies might block a proper view of the eclipse - but at the right time, the stormy weather turned into bright sunshine.

The eclipse followed a long path over the South Pacific. The longest time was  five minutes and 20 seconds over the sea.

The eclipse followed a long path over the South Pacific. The longest time was five minutes and 20 seconds over the sea.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking its rays and casting a shadow. Here are the different stages as it happened!

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking its rays and casting a shadow. Here are the different stages as it happened!

The next total solar eclipse is expected to happen in November 2012 and should be visible from northern Australia and the South Pacific.

This person is wearing glasses to protect their eyes - it can harm your eyes to look directly at an eclipse. The next total solar eclipse is expected in November 2012.