This is a view of a partial solar eclipse taken on Jan. 4, 2011, in Italy. It looks like this image was captured at night, but solar eclipses can occur only during the day. A partial solar eclipse happens when the moon blocks out a portion of the sun. In all, 2011 was a banner year for both solar and lunar eclipses. “2011 has a rare combination of four partial solar eclipses and two total lunar eclipses,” writes Space.com. This particular solar eclipse was visible from the Middle East, Northern Africa, and much of Europe.