The solar eclipse of January 15, 2010 was an annular eclipse of the Sun with a magnitude of 0.9190. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun's light. An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region thousands of kilometres wide.
It was the longest annular solar eclipse of the millennium, and the longest until December 23, 3043, with a maximum length of 11 minutes, 7.8 seconds. This is about 4 minutes longer than total solar eclipses could ever get. (The solar eclipse of January 4, 1992, was longer, at 11 minutes, 41 seconds, occurring in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.)
The eclipse was visible as only a partial eclipse in much of Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It was seen as an annular eclipse within a narrow stretch of 300 km (190 mi) width across Central Africa, Maldives, South Kerala (India), South Tamil Nadu (India), Sri Lanka and parts of Bangladesh, Burma and China.