2009 marks human history by having the longest solar eclipse of the century that brought near darkness throughout Asia, particularly in the Central Asia continent. From India to China, as millions gathered to watch the sun disappear, folks were documenting the 39-second solar eclipse phenomenon.

Casting two billion people into total or partial darkness in the world's two most populous countries, this will have been the most witnessed eclipse in history, Nasa scientists said.



Thousands of Hindus bathed in the Ganges in the Indian town of Varanasi to cleanse their sins as the moon threw the area into darkness for three minutes, 48 seconds.

Millions of the more superstitious in India stayed indoors, fearful of the phenomenon. One Hindu fable says an eclipse is caused when a dragon-demon swallows the sun.

Predicted outbreaks of civil unrest do not appear to have happened.

Some families have advised pregnant relatives to confine themselves to curtained rooms, following long-held fears that the invisible rays would harm the feotus and the baby born with disfigurations, birthmarks or a congenital defect.



While in China, Lights of the buildings in Shanghai are switched on during the eclipse - even though it is mid-morning.



In Pakistan, A partial solar eclipse silhouettes birds surrounding a minaret of the shrine of Sufi Saint Bah-ud-din Zakria in Multan, Pakistan.



Source: Solar [AP via Yahoo!]