Hundreds of millions of people across Asia are waiting to witness what is being described as the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, so that the Sun is totally or partially covered.

The eclipse on Wednesday will pass over India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, China, Japan, Indonesia and the Marshall islands.  The total solar eclipse will last six minutes and 39 seconds. 

Forecasters are predicting stormy weather in parts of China and India, but the predictions have not deterred astronomers and tourists from anticipating the event.

The event is being described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and could end up being the most watched eclipse in history.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.