Sky-gazers in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard witnessed a total solar eclipse Friday under perfect weather conditions. The total eclipse lasted for 2 minutes and 45 seconds in the Faroes Islands — the only other place on land where the eclipse was total. A partial solar eclipse could be seen across Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. A solar eclipse happens when the moon lines up between the sun and the Earth. This casts a lunar shadow on the Earth's surface and obscures the sun. A total eclipse also offers a full view of the sun's corona — a faint ring of rays surrounding the moon. During a partial eclipse, only part of the sun is blotted out. The total solar eclipse coincided with the spring equinox, one of two occasions each year when the day is equal in length to the night.