A total solar eclipse seen in Svalbard, Norway, on March 20, 2015. (Haakon Mosvold Larsen/ European Pressphoto Agency)

For a short almost three minutes early Friday morning, a total solar eclipse reached its greatest point as the moon passed between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s rays entirely.

This eclipse is extraordinary because the moon is a so-called “supermoon,” meaning it is at its closest point to Earth. And it all falls on the same day as the spring equinox. This will not happen again until 2034.

The total solar eclipse could only be seen from parts of the North Atlantic that are south of Iceland but north of Scotland.

Sky watchers took in the sight from the remote Faroe Islands, about 186 miles north of Scotland and 370 miles west of Norway, one of just two places on land where the total eclipse could be seen. On the islands, the moon covered the sun completely for two minutes and 45 seconds.

“This is our 10th total eclipse,” Les Anderson, a 60-year-old from San Diego, told the Associated Press from the islands. Hotels there were fully booked for months. “We love to watch them and being able to look at the corona with your eyes in the middle of the eclipse is really an exciting moment, to experience the diamond rings coming and going,” Anderson said.

The other place to view the total eclipse was Svalbard, Norway, an archipelago about 500 miles north of the mainland where it was visible for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Hotels on Svalbard were also booked solid. On Thursday, a Czech tourist was attacked by a polar bear while camping out for the eclipse.

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The eclipse was seen in partial form across northwest Africa, most of Europe and northern Asia.


The eclipse in Cornwall, England. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

Here’s what the eclipse looked like on social media: