Although much of the world was not able to see it, the solar eclipse that passed over the Earth on Friday was what astronomers call a hybrid eclipse that only occurs every 18 years.

Experts at the U.S. space agency NASA say the unique eclipse began southeast of New Zealand and stretched across the Pacific Ocean to South America.

They say the celestial event started as a partial eclipse, and the dark shadow of the Moon obscured only the Sun's lower half.

It turned into a total eclipse for less than a minute, completely casting portions of the Earth into darkness, before returning to a partial eclipse as it moved eastward.

Although the next solar eclipse will occur this October, astronomers say the next uniquely hybrid eclipse will not occur again until 2023.

Some information for this report provided by AP.