Big Picture: Total eclipse, of the sun!

Simply stunning! [via Big Picture]

Earlier today, the moon passed directly in front of the sun, causing a total solar eclipse that crossed nearly half the Earth – through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. Today’s was the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting as much as 6 minutes and 39 seconds in a few areas. Despite cloudy skies in many of the populated areas in the path, millions of people gathered outside to gaze up and view this rare event. Collected here are a few images of the eclipse, and those people who came out to watch. (33 photos total)

bigpicture_eclipse

Much of the sun's corona becomes visible as the moon passes between the sun and the earth during a total solar eclipse, seen above Varanasi, India, Wednesday, July 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)