An annular solar eclipse or the ‘ring of fire’ was seen in western North America today.
This is a rare astronomical event.
It crossed parts of Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico before disappearing in Texas with the sunset.
An annular eclipse occurs when the moon’s orbit is at its furthest point from the Earth and closer to the much larger sun.
That juxtaposition allows the moon to block more than 90 percent of the sun’s rays when the two orbs slide into alignment.
This morning an annular eclipse was seen in Asia.
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An annular eclipse is seen in Los Angeles, California May 20, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event – an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
The moon passes between the sun and the earth during a solar eclipse as viewed from Encinitas, California May 20, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The moon passes between the sun and the earth as viewed through coastal fog rolling in from the ocean in Encinitas, California May 20, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The moon passes between the sun and the earth behind a windmill near Albuquerque, New Mexico May 20, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson