Korea witnessed a near-total occlusion of the sun on Wednesday during a solar eclipse that could be seen across Asia. The Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute said the solar eclipse began for Seoul with the right corner of the sun covered at 9:34 a.m., and reached its peak when 78.5 percent of the sun was covered at 10:48 a.m.
The sun appeared again at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday's eclipse was the longest in 61 years. Despite regional differences in patterns, it continued for about two hours and 40 minutes across the country.
The eclipse was partial for Korea because it lies in the upper side of the path of the total eclipse. The further south, the more the sun was occluded. Seogwipo, Jeju saw as much as 93.1 percent of the sun covered. India, Nepal, and Okinawa saw a total solar eclipse for about six minutes.
As solar energy dwindled, temperatures dropped 2-4 degrees Celsius lower than on normal days, the Korea Meteorological Administration said. The eclipse was the first since April 8, 2005. The most recent total eclipse occurred on Aug. 19, 1887.
KASI said the next partial solar eclipse will occur on Jan. 15, 2010, and the next total eclipse can be observed from North Korea's Pyongyang region on Sept. 2, 2035. But it will not be possible to observe the whole process as it will occur at sunset.