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Total Eclipse Seen from Brazil to Mongolia

Tens of thousands of people from Brazil to Mongolia have witnessed a rare total solar eclipse Wednesday.

Sirens blared in cities across the world as people gathered and cheered the eclipse that plunged them into daytime darkness.

The eclipse began in Brazil and moved across parts of Africa and the Middle East to Mongolia. A total eclipse occurs when the moon's shadow covers the sun, darkening the sky and giving Earthbound watchers a rare view of the sun's fiery halo (corona).

Thousands of people also marked the eclipse by attending services at churches or mosques. Governments warned people not to look directly at the total eclipse without proper eye protection.

Libya issued special visas for tourists eager to watch the celestial spectacle. Many watchers who filled the streets in Ghana's capital hailed the phenomenon as a religious experience.