'Ring of fire' total solar eclipse darkens sky across Chile

Chileans were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a total solar eclipse early on Sunday (local time).

The eclipse was visible only in some parts of the southern hemisphere. Unfortunately, New Zealand missed out.

One watcher said the phenomenon was "marvellous".

"It was very cold at the moment that the eclipse took place and that was very notable," he said.

"It looked to me like an evening, the long shadows and all of that. It was very, very pretty."

The full eclipse lasted around two minutes, as the moon passed between Earth and the sun, blocking its rays and creating a 'ring of fire' in the sky.

Eclipse watchers are advised to wear special glasses and to avoid looking directly at the sun, to avoid eye damage.