Philippe Huguen / AFP - Getty Images
The partial solar eclipse in Locon, northern France, Jan. 4. A solar eclipse happens when the Moon swings between the Earth and the Sun.
Bernadett Szabo / Reuters
A man watches a partial solar eclipse through a filter in Galyateto, some 62 miles east of Budapest, Jan. 4.
Jon Nazca / Reuters
A seagull is silhouetted against the sun at dawn during a partial solar eclipse on Guadalmar beach in Malaga, Jan. 4. The partial eclipse will be visible near sunrise over most of Europe and northeastern Asia.
Stoyan Nenov / Reuters
A partial solar eclipse is seen over a cross on a dome of the Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia, Jan. 4. The partial eclipse will be visible near sunrise over most of Europe and northeastern Asia.
Francois Campredon / AFP - Getty Images
In this picture taken through a double glazed window multiple reflections of a partial solar eclipse are seen in Stockholm, Jan. 4. Europe was given a front-row seat to the first solar eclipse of 2011 only to find that in many places a thick curtain of cloud marred the spectacle.
Amr Nabil / AP
Venezuelan tourists watch a partial solar eclipse in front of the Giza Pyramids, Egypt, Jan. 4. A partial solar eclipse began Tuesday in the skies over the Mideast and will extend across much of Europe.
Hatem Moussa / AP
A view of a partial solar eclipse as seen from Gaza city, Jan. 4. A partial solar eclipse began Tuesday in the skies over the Mideast and will extend across much of Europe.
GENEVA — Wintry skies darkened over Switzerland on Tuesday morning as a partial solar eclipse that began over the Mideast extended across much of Europe.
The pall of clouds and light snow seemed like dusk with lights twinkling in the city — time in reverse just as people streamed off trains and buses to arrive at work. The solar occurrence was at its height over Geneva, Bern and other Swiss cities in the midmorning, then the grayness at the lower altitudes began to brighten a bit.
As much as two-thirds of the sun disappeared from view behind the moon, something that hasn't occurred in Switzerland since August 1999. A more minor eclipse happened in August 2008.