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The partial solar eclipse on January 4, 2011, will be visible from most of Europe, the northern half of Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia.

A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s shadow misses the earth but passes very close to it. This allows many viewers the opportunity to view at least a small portion of the Sun’s northern limb blocked by the Moon.

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Here is what the Earth looks like during a solar eclipse. The shadow of the Moon can be seen darkening part of Earth. This shadow moved across the Earth at nearly 2000 kilometers per hour.

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Many cities in Western Europe such as London and Paris will be able to enjoy an eclipse that occurs at sunrise; meanwhile cities in the northern latitudes such as Stockholm, Sweden will view a thin-crescent sun that will move slowly along the horizon.

The Eclipse’s Path

The path of the partial eclipse will begin when the penumbra shadow touches the Earth’s surface in northern Algeria at 06:40:11 Universal Time (UT). The eclipse’s path will travel northeast to Western Europe to be seen as a partial eclipse at sunrise for many European cities, while cities in central Russia and northwest China will experience a sunset eclipse.

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Early in the morning looking East

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via NASA via APOD