Rare Solar Eclipse Casts Eerie Morning Glow

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Europe and areas across the Mideast were treated to a rare sight Tuesday morning.

A solar eclipse cast an eerie glow during the early hours as the moon passed in front of the sun.

The unnatural twilight lasted for three hours. In some areas the eclipse obscured the sun by almost 80 percent.

The rare site thrilled morning commuters from Switzerland to Israel. It's the first partial eclipse of the new year.

"This morning I saw a strange light," said Andrei Carlescu, a 21-year-old student in Bucharest, Romania. "At first I didn't know what was happening. There were children about 9 or 10 who were wearing special glasses and looking at it."

A solar eclipse happens when the moon lines up between the sun and the Earth, casting a lunar shadow on the Earth's surface and obscuring the solar disk. During a partial solar eclipse, only part of the sun is blotted out.

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