Thousands of people across the world have witnessed one of the most spectacular stellar sights – a total solar eclipse.
An eerie silence descended on almost every city directly in its path as skywatchers from as far field as Canada and China looked upwards for the rare sight.
In the Russian city of Novosibirsk, around 300 couples chose to mark the occasion by getting married.
The phenomenon, which occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, began in Canada, before moving over Greenland and then Siberia before ending in China.
Eclipses were considered dark omens by ancient Chinese astronomers.
But many Chinese view this one as particularly fortunate as it comes exactly a week before the torch is lit in Beijing for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games – designed to restore China’s pride and showcase its achievements.