Between 9:20 and 10:57 local time on Thursday morning, a partial eclipse could be seen in northeast China. At its height, at 10:08, about 21 percent of the sun was covered by the moon's shadow.
Many astronomy lovers in the cities of Harbin and Changchun witnessed it using techniques carefully designed to protect their eyes from the sun's rays.
The eclipse could be seen, weather permitting, across northeast Asia, including much of Siberia, northeastern Mongolia, northeastern China and all of Japan, before becoming visible in western Alaska. Here it reached a spectacular peak just as the Sun set beyond the west-southwest horizon late Wednesday afternoon.
Since its course took it eastward across the International Date Line, the eclipse started on October 14 but ended on the previous day. Yet this is still less fantastic than the ancient Chinese belief that solar eclipses were caused by a heavenly dog or dragon eating the sun!
This was the second partial solar eclipse of 2004. In the first, on April 19, the lower third of Africa could see the new Moon partially occlude the Sun.
(China.org.cn, CRI October 15, 2004)