Courtesy of Robin Hiepe in St. Peterburg
If you got up early enough on Sunday, you might have been treated to a morning surprise in the sky.
A partial solar eclipse - one of only two on Earth this year - was visible in the sky over much of the eastern USA early Sunday morning.
The eclipse, seen for only about 30 minutes after sunrise, appeared throughout the entire East Coast where clouds didn't obscure it. It could only be seen as far west as eastern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee and most of Georgia.
Sunrise on Sunday morning was at roughly 6:30 a.m. or slightly later, so you would have needed to get up early to see it. But it should have seemed easier to get up early this Sunday: Remember, daylight saving time came to an end Sunday morning (officially at 2 a.m.).
This eclipse was a rare "hybrid" eclipse, in which a few parts of the Earth saw an "annular" eclipse (where the moon does not completely block out the sun, leaving just a "ring of fire" around the moon), while other parts saw a "total" eclipse, when the moon completely covers the sun.
The USA, along with parts of Europe and Africa, didn't see the annular or the total variety and were treated instead to a "partial" solar eclipse: The sun appeared as if it has had a big bite taken out of it. Only people in central Africa, in countries such as Gabon, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, saw the total eclipse of the sun.
The next chance to see a total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be Aug. 21, 2017.
Weather conditions were forecast to be best for eclipse viewing in the southeastern U.S., where clear skies were expected Sunday morning, according to AccuWeather. Skies were predicted to be cloudier in the Mid-Atlantic and along the Northeast coast, while rain and even some snow showers may have obstructed the sky in interior sections of the Northeast and New England.
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