‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse thrills skywatchers on longest day
Hong Kong (AFP) – Skywatchers along a narrow band from west Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, India and the Far East witnessed a dramatic “ring of fire” solar eclipse Sunday.
So-called annular eclipses occur when the Moon — passing between Earth and the Sun — is not quite close enough to our planet to completely obscure sunlight, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible.
They happen every year or two, and can only be seen from a narrow pathway across the planet.
Sunday’s eclipse arrived on the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year — the summer solstice — when the North Pole is tilted most directly towards the Sun.
It was first visible in northeastern Republic of Congo from 5:56 local time (04:56 GMT) just a few minutes after sunrise.