December 26, 2019 1 min read

From the Middle East to Southeast Asia, people looked skyward for a chance to see an annular eclipse Thursday, as the unusual celestial event took place over a long but thin band of the world. The striking "ring of fire" phenomenon – with the moon blotting out all but a sliver of the sun — began in Saudi Arabia and ended northeast of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.

An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is too far away from the Earth to block the entire sun during an eclipse. Instead of the sun's full bright disc, or a crescent of light, viewers in areas of complete annularity see a fiery halo around the moon.

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