An Astro-Trifecta

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The sun's corona peeks out from behind the moon during the eclipse

In astronomy, as in life, the big events always happen in threes. Today's example: The first full solar eclipse of the millennium occurred on the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice, and when the sun finally goes down tonight, Mars will be at its brightest in over a decade.

In central Africa, tourists and scientists from around the world gathered along the 79 mile-wide path of the eclipse, which lasted as long as four minutes in some locations.

Meanwhile, Mars is in its biannual "opposition" to the earth, when it is lined up opposite the Sun, with Earth in between. This year, the Red Planet is a mere 42 million miles from Earth, the closest since 1988. For the next two weeks, it will glow orange-gold, brighter than anything in the night sky except the moon.

And on the Northern Hemisphere's longest day of the year, 14,500 Druids, New Agers and friends crowded around Stonehenge in England to dance and chant as the sun rose.