Large crowds of people gathered across the Americas on Saturday to witness the stunning phenomenon of an annular solar eclipse.
A “ring” eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth at a distance that when viewed from the earth does not completely cover the sun. The result is a large, bright ring in the sky, commonly called the “ring of fire”.
Maximum obscuration of the sun can be witnessed in nine US states, namely Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas – provided the sky is cloudless, of course. Those close to the zone of maximum obscuration can also enjoy the partial eclipse.
For anyone unable to travel to a location where they can see the full eclipse, NASA is showing a live broadcast that includes a beautiful “ring of fire” effect as the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun.
You can see the eclipse reach its peak in the video below:
Spots within the lookout zone include famous locations like Monument Valley in Arizona, Bryce Canyon in Utah, and Mesa Verde in Colorado, but those looking to avoid the crowds will look for quieter spots along the lookout zone.
Saturday’s eclipse was also visible in parts of Central and South America.
People watching this spectacular celestial event wore special eclipse glasses or used hand-held solar displays to protect their eyes from the sun’s blazing glare.
The next eclipse – a total eclipse in which the moon completely covers the sun for a moment – will occur on April 8 next year. This eclipse will also be visible throughout the US. However, the next annular solar eclipse will not be visible in the US until 2039.