Photos: ‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse lights up the sky


(NewsNation Now) — A “ring of fire” solar eclipse lit up the sky Thursday morning.

Unlike a total solar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun, causing the sun to be completely blocked, this eclipse was annular, which only occurs when the moon is in its first phase.

Skywatchers in parts of Canada, Greenland, the Arctic Ocean, and Siberia had a complete view of the narrow path of this year’s first solar eclipse, according to NASA. It was a partial eclipse for much of the rest of northeastern North America, Greenland, Northern Europe, and northern Asia.

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – JUNE 10: In this handout image provided by NASA, a partial solar eclipse is seen as the sun rises behind the Capitol Building on June 10, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

Video from Maryland showed a partial eclipse with skywatcher Israel Joffe, in North Bethesda, Maryland, likening the effect to the computer game character Pac-Man.

The new moon was farther from Earth in its elliptical orbit and appeared smaller — too small to cover the sun completely. As a result, a bright ring of sunlight surrounded the moon’s silhouette at mid-eclipse. That bright outer rim is known as the “ring of fire.”

“As the pair rises higher in the sky, the silhouette of the Moon will gradually shift off the sun to the lower left, allowing more of the sun to show until the eclipse ends,” NASA said. 

None of the U.S. will see the full annular eclipse, which will last about an hour and 40 minutes. This was the first “ring of fire” solar eclipse seen in the U.S. since 2017.

NASA livestreamed the eclipse on its website in early Thursday morning.

This was the first solar eclipse of 2021. The second and final eclipse will occur Dec. 4.

Nexstar Media Wire contributed to this report.

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