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China Witnesses Partial Solar Eclipse
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Many parts of China experienced a partial solar eclipse on Monday morning, lasting around one and a half hours, according to the China National Astronomical Observatory.

In Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, the partial eclipse occurred from 9:25 a.m. to 11 AM on Monday, in which the moon covered about 20 percent of the sun, according to Wang Sichao, researcher with Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Sky gazers in northeastern Jilin, central Henan, eastern Shandong Provinces and northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region also witnessed the partial eclipse.

In western China, 70 percent of the sun was eclipsed but in Beijing, however, cloudy and drizzly weather deprived enthusiasts of the chance of seeing their first partial eclipse since 1997.

"Those who missed this one will have opportunities to see total solar eclipses on August 1, 2008 and July 22, 2009, and a partial eclipse on January 15, 2010," Wang said.

During the last century (1901- 1999), 78 partial and 71 total solar eclipses have been reported worldwide.

Chinese astronomers are believed to have been the first to record solar eclipses more than 3,000 years ago.

(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2007)

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