Canada, Russia, and China saw a total solar eclipse today. The moon passed directly between Earth and the sun, revealing the breathtaking outer atmosphere of the sun, which is made up of super-heated gases. Other locations saw a partial eclipse.
The Chinese consider eclipses bad luck; in ancient times they believed that a dragon or dog was swallowing the sun. But the Chinese media dubbed this one the "Olympic eclipse" and broadcasted the astrological event live on national television. Thousands of people watched the eclipse the old-fashioned way, too, by going outside. In Novosibirsk, Russia, 10,000 tourists came to the city to witness it, securing hotels months before.
We cannot usually see the outer-atmosphere of the sun, called the corona, because the sun's light is too bright. Check out these stunning pictures of one of nature's most beautiful phenomenas.