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Eclipses span the globe

October 2005: Lunar and solar eclipses grace different hemispheres of Earth, but October's highlight should be Mars looming at its biggest for the year.
Thousands of observers across Europe will converge on Spain and Portugal for a spectacular annular solar eclipse the morning of October 3. Annular refers to a ring of sunlight (the Latin word annulus means ring), rather than a once-a-year event. Although the Moon crosses the center of the Sun's face, it is slightly too small to cover it all, and an awesome ring of fire remains. After the narrow path of annularity leaves Europe, it crosses northern and eastern Africa. Residents in the rest of Europe and most of Africa will see a partial eclipse.

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