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Peekaboo Solar Eclipse Thrills Skywatchers in Australia

Image: Solar eclipse
Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff took this photo of the partial solar eclipse from Albany in Western Australia, using a Nikon D610 camera with a 500mm lens. Jay Pasachoff / Williams College

The moon took a bite out of the sun in the first solar eclipse of the year on Tuesday, a celestial ballet visible from Australia that captivated stargazers despite cloudy weather.

Tuesday's solar eclipse was a "ring of fire" annular eclipse, but only for an uninhabited swath of Antarctica. For observers in Australia, the moon appeared to cover up to about 65 percent of the sun, resulting in a striking partial solar eclipse at sunset.

"I felt lucky to view and capture the eclipse this afternoon due to continuous partial cloud cover," photographer CJ Armitage told Space.com via email. "Time seemed to stand still during the brief moments of visibility. ... I hope the penguins of Antarctica enjoyed their view of the 'Ring of Fire.'" [Gallery: Amazing Photos of the April 29 Solar Eclipse]

Image: Solar eclipse
Photographer CJ Armitage of Brisbane, Australia, captured this stunning view of the sunset solar eclipse on Tuesday during the first solar eclipse of the year. CJ Armitage
Image: Children wear protective glasses
Children wear protective glasses as they watch for Tuesday's partial solar eclipse from Sydney's Observatory Hill on Tuesday afternoon. David Gray / Reuters
Image: Partial solar eclipse
Photographer Stephen Mudge captured this multiple-exposure view of the solar eclipse at sunset in Brisbane, Australia. "A few clouds, but enough gaps to get a look at the eclipse," he writes. The image is a stack of exposures taken about three minutes apart using a 70-200mm telephoto lens and a homemade solar filter. Stephen Mudge

Australian eclipse-chasers dealt with frustrating clouds that occasionally blocked views of the moon-sun rendezvous. The clouds did not stop astronomer Jay Pasachoff of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., who photographed the eclipse from Albany in Western Australia.

"Things went very well here," Pasachoff told Space.com via email. "Clear about half the time." Tuesday's sun show was the 59th solar eclipse observed by Pasachoff.

— Tariq Malik, Space.com

This is a condensed version of a report from Space.com. Read the full report. Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him via Twitter and Google+. Follow Space.com on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Update for 8:45 p.m. ET April 30: We've added a great multiple-exposure view of the eclipse from Australian photographer Stephen Mudge. To see more of Mudge's work, check out his Flickr gallery. And for still more eclipse pictures, check out SpaceWeather.com's gallery.