Two women share a safety filter to watch a solar eclipse on June 30, 1954, from London's Fleet Street.
Members of the British Astronomers Association set up their telescopes and cameras in preparation for the August 1999 total solar eclipse. Observers should never look directly at a partial solar eclipse through telescopes or binoculars without protective measures.
Londoners peer at a solar eclipse through smoked glass on June 29, 1927. Today, experts say the best way to see a partial solar eclipse is by using special filters or an indirect viewing system such as a pinhole camera. The total phase of the eclipse can be seen safely by the naked eye, but if even a bit of the sun's disk is showing, gazing at the eclipse too long could damage the eyes.
Children attending the Helston School Eclipse Science Camp in England try out their protective glasses on the day before the total solar eclipse of Aug. 11, 1999. The school organized a project to send science activity packs and safety information to other schools throughout Britain.
Chinese viewers watch the sun being blocked by the moon in Gaotai, Gansu province, during a solar eclipse on Aug. 1, 2008.
A series of photographs shows the moon passing between the sun and Earth during the annular solar eclipse of Jan. 26, 2009, as seen from Bandar Lampung in Indonesia. The photographs were taken with a solar filter on the lens.
A couple looks at October 2005's annular eclipse with special glasses on a beach in Gandia in eastern Spain.
The sun is seen during a partial solar eclipse in Chennai (Madras), India, on Oct. 3, 2005.
A multiple-exposure photo captures the moon's movement across the disk of the sun on Aug. 11, 1999, as seen from the famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. This was the last total solar eclipse of the 20th century.
The sun's corona is a tenuous outer atmosphere composed of streams of energetic charged particles, but it is seen easily from Earth only during a total solar eclipse. This 1991 image of totality from atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii, provides a fleeting glimpse of the corona's intricate structures and streams.
An employee at a department store in Hamburg, Germany, watches an array of televisions during broadcast coverage of the total solar eclipse of August 1999.
Wendy Shifrin of South Lee, Mass., uses a box fitted with welders' glass to view a partial solar eclipse from New York's Central Park on Dec. 25, 2000. People in the Northeast saw the moon blot out as much as 60 percent of the sun around midday. The next partial Christmas eclipse, according to astronomers, will be in 2307.
The new moon covers up part of the sun during an eclipse seen from a fishing spot on the Rio de la Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 21, 2001.
Bulgarian children look at a partial solar eclipse through a telescope in the Black Sea port of Varna on Oct. 3, 2005.
A sequence of three pictures, taken from the Portuguese city of Arguzelo, shows the progress of the annular eclipse on Oct. 3, 2005. In an annular eclipse, a thin ring of the sun's disk remains visible around the dark disk of the moon.
Portuguese villager Jose Preto, 78, watches the progress of the October 2005 annular solar eclipse through radiation-blocking glasses while tending a flock of sheep at Rio de Onor.
A man looks through a filter at an annular solar eclipse from La Linea in southern Spain on Oct. 3, 2005. In an annular eclipse, the moon moves between the sun and Earth but does not completely cover the solar disk, due to the orbital mechanics involved.
A partial solar eclipse is projected onto at a girl's tongue as she looks into the sky over the Jordanian capital Amman on Oct. 3, 2005.
A man looks at the annular eclipse of October 2005 through a homemade cardboard tube with a filter taped over it, outside a planetarium in Pamplona, Spain.
An annular solar eclipse produces a "diamond ring" effect on May 30, 1984, as seen from Picayune, Miss.
In Amman, Jordan, the sun is reflected on a flower as the moon partially blocks it, forming a crescent during the solar eclipse of March 29, 2006.
Libyan youths watch the total solar eclipse in the desert tourist camp in Galo on March 29, 2006, where thousands of astronomers and thrill-seekers gathered to view the sight.
A young Lebanese shepherd carries a goat as he watches a partial solar eclipse in the village of Bqosta, near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, on March 29. Both the shepherd and the goat are wearing protective eyewear.
Astronauts aboard the international space station snapped this picture from 230 miles above Earth as the shadow of the moon fell on the planet during a total solar eclipse on March 29, 2006. Visible near the shadow are portions of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea and the coast of Turkey.