Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 06/01/2011

Solar eclipse at midnight tonight [PHOTOS]

The moon begins to obstruct the view of the sun from Earth during a solar eclipse at the Tiananmen Square on Jan. 15, 2010, in Shenyang, Liaoning Province of China. The eclipse, which first became visible in Tamil Nadu city of Kanyakumari, is predicted to be the longest of its kind for the next 1,000 years. (Feng Li - Getty Images)
Stargazers in parts of the Northern Hemisphere will catch a rare partial eclipse of a midnight sun tonight.

The eclipse will be visible from the Arctic coast of western Siberia as the sun skirts the northern horizon. Northern parts of China, Siberia, Japan, Scandinavia, Scotland, Iceland, and Canada will all catch a glimpse.

Because the sun doesn’t set in the Arctic parts of the world during this time of year, a solar eclipse is possible at all hours of the day, and this time, the eclipse will happen at midnight local time in Norway (6 p.m. Eastern Time). NASA gives local times for the solar eclipse here.

Partial eclipses occur when the Earth, Moon and Sun are almost perfectly aligned and the Moon blocks out part of the bright surface of the Sun.

We’ll be adding photos of tonight’s eclipse after it happens, but see some of the loveliest photos of past eclipses below:

This solar eclipse on July 22, 2009, in Iwojima Island, Tokyo, was the longest total eclipse of the sun of this century. It triggered tourist fever in Asia as astronomy enthusiasts from home and abroad flocked to watch the event. The eclipse was visible from within a narrow corridor that begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. (National Astronomical Observator - Getty Images)

A man and his camel walk past as the sun is blocked by the moon during a solar eclipse in Gaotai, Gansu province Aug. 1, 2008. (Aly Song - ReutersS)

A partial solar eclipse is seen through a crescent of Faisal Mosque in Islamabad March 29, 2006. The track of the eclipse stretches from eastern Brazil, across the Atlantic to north Africa, then on to the Middle East, Central Asia, west China and Mongolia. (Mian Khursheed - Reuters)

Tourists watch the sun being blocked by the moon during a solar eclipse in the Australian outback town of Lyndhurst, located about 450 miles north of Adelaide, Dec. 4, 2002. The town is one of only four in Australia where the 26 second-long full eclipse of the sun could be seen. (David Gray - Reuters)

By  |  09:30 AM ET, 06/01/2011

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company