Tonight was a beautiful solar eclipse, the only total eclipse of the sun that you will be able to see in all of 2016. The solar eclipse was visible in parts of southeast Asia, and partial eclipse was visible in parts of Australia, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa. A total solar eclipse is only visible during intervals when the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth during the "new moon" phase. These total eclipses are, by their nature, very rare. According to an AMA on Reddit, the length of the eclipse depends on "both the angular sizes of the Moon and Sun on the sky and also where you are in the eclipse path." The next time a solar eclipse is visible in parts of the United States will be in August 2017.
This picture shows the moon passing in front of the sun during a partial solar eclipse in Naypyidaw on March 9, 2016. A total solar eclipse swept across the vast Indonesian archipelago, witnessed by tens of thousands of sky gazers and marked by parties, Muslim prayers and tribal rituals. Partial eclipses were also visible over other parts of Asia and Australia. Click through the gallery to see photos of tonight's stunning solar eclipse, as seen by people in Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, and other regions in the path of the beautiful astronomical event. (Getty)