People in eastern Chinese regions saw an annular eclipse of the sun Monday morning, the longest eclipse in terms of duration for the next 1,000 years, according to astronomers' predictions.
The eclipse lasted for about four minutes in China, moving across the Pacific and ending on the west coast of the United States.
Beginning at 6 a.m., people in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Hainan Province were the first to observe the eclipse, followed by the coastal provinces of Guangdong, Jiangxi and Fujian.
People in the cities of Beijing and Tianjin were also able to watch a partial solar eclipse in the morning.
China will witness another 14 solar eclipses before the year 2100, including total solar eclipses and annular eclipses, according to Su Yi, director of the Chinese Astronomical Society and a professor at Nankai University.
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon slides across the sun, blocking all but a blazing halo of light.
The next annular solar eclipse is expected to be seen in southwestern and southeastern parts of China on June 21 of 2020, Su said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 21, 2012)