The story

Skywatchers are gathering from parking lots in western India to music festivals on remote Japanese islands to witness what NASA describes as an "exceptionally long" total solar eclipse that will cross half the planet on Wednesday.

"This eclipse has the potential to be observed by more people than any eclipse in all of history," said MIT astronomer Richard Binzel, who will be in Shanghai leading an expedition of observers and a group of eclipse chasers. "Essentially, every inhabitant of all of India and China will be able to see at least part of the sun covered throughout the day," he said.

The path of the total eclipse will stretch across the heart of Asia -- from India's Bay of Cambay, over the Himalayas and across China and the southern islands of Japan. Read full article »

CNN's John Vause, Nishi Kumar, Yoko Wakatsuki, Stephanie Akiko Haschke and Mallika Kapur contributed to this report.

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