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Rare Solar Eclipse Seen in Africa

A full solar eclipse passed over Africa on Sunday, briefly darkening skies as it moved across the continent.

The moon began partially blocking out the sun over the central Atlantic early Sunday morning and built to a full eclipse before becoming visible in west Africa. The best land viewing happened in Gabon, where people were able to see the event for more than a minute.

The full eclipse was only visible along a narrow path in Africa that ended over Ethiopia and Somalia. A partial eclipse was visible far away as eastern North America and southern Europe.

Solar eclipses occur when the moon's path places it directly between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out all or part of the Sun for a few minutes. Sunday's was a rare hybrid eclipse in which the moon completely blocked the sun at times and left a ring of the sun visible at others.

Viewers were warned not to look directly at an eclipse, as the sun's rays can still damage the eyes.

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