FAQ Follow On:Twitter Google+ Facebook Tumblr subscribe by RSS or Email

A Ring of Fire: The 2012 Annular Eclipse

|

Yesterday, the Moon passed between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow from China to North America. This was an annular eclipse, where the Moon's apparent diameter is slightly smaller than the Sun's, blocking all but a ring of sunlight. Skywatchers brought out special glasses, welder's masks, and telescopes to safely view this relatively rare event. Some were lucky enough to look down and see overlapping pinhole projections of the eclipse as the sunlight streamed through the leaves of nearby trees. Gathered here, for those who weren't able to see it in person, is a group of images of yesterday's annular eclipse. [26 photos]

Use j/k keys or ←/→ to navigate  Choose:
The Moon partially eclipses the Sun, as seen from Venice, California, on May 20, 2012. Original here. (CC BY SA Ian Norman)
The Moon partially eclipses the Sun, as seen from Venice, California, on May 20, 2012. Original here. (CC BY SA Ian Norman)
The annular solar eclipse, observed through light clouds above Tokyo, Japan, on May 21, 2012. It was the first time in 25 years an annular solar eclipse was observable in Japan. (Masashi Hara/Getty Images) #
A businessman watches the annular solar eclipse at a waterfront park in Yokohama, near Tokyo, on May 21, 2012. Millions of Asians watched as the rare "ring of fire" eclipse crossed their skies early Monday. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama) #
A partial annular solar eclipse above the titanium dome of the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, on May 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #
A child looks at pinhole projections produced as sunlight passed through a card punched with small holes, during an eclipse at Taipei Astronomical Museum May 21, 2012. The Chinese characters read, "Taipei." (Reuters/Pichi Chuang) #
Overlapping pinhole projections of the full annular eclipse cover the wall of a house on May 20, 2102. Original here. (CC BY SA Will Keightley) #
The annular solar eclipse over Hong Kong, on May 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) #
Jean Paul from France uses his solar shades to watch the annular eclipse at Monument Valley Tribal Park in Utah, on May 20, 2012. (Reuters/Gene Blevins) #
The annular solar eclipse, partially seen at sunrise on May 21, 2012, from coastal township of Gumaca, Quezon province, 187 km (116 mi) southeast of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) #
Dennis Vitt, 38, watches the annular eclipse through a welding mask in Los Angeles, California, on May 20, 2012. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) #
The annular eclipse, seen in Monument Valley Tribal Park in Utah, on May 20, 2012. (Reuters/Gene Blevins) #
An airplane flies near the partial eclipse above Japan, on May 20, 2012. Original here. (CC BY SA Flickr user ivva) #
The "ring of fire", seen from Kanarraville, Utah, on May 20 2012. (Robyn Beck/AFP/GettyImages) #
School children observe the annular eclipse with solar viewers at Hirai Daini Elementary School in Tokyo, on May 21, 2012. (Reuters/Issei Kato) #
A thundershower rolls through as an annular solar eclipse appears in Gardnerville, Nevada, on May 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison) #
The annular solar eclipse, as the sun sets behind the Rocky Mountains, seen from downtown Denver, Colorado late on May 20, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) #
Pinhole projections of the 2012 solar eclipse, on a wall in Mountain View, California. Original here. (CC BY Martin Jambon) #
A partial eclipse is seen at the Bund along the Huangpu River in Shanghai, on May 21, 2012. (Reuters/Aly Song) #
The annular eclipse, seen in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on May 20, 2012. (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez) #
Ring-tailed lemurs look on as children view a solar eclipse at the Japan Monkey Center in Inuyama city in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, on May 21, 2012. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images) #
The moon passes between the sun and the earth behind a windmill near Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 20, 2012. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #
Pinhole projections of the eclipse overlap each other on a garage door in California, on May 20, 2012. Original here. (CC BY Jay Cross) #
A partial eclipse, seen from Austin, Texas, on May 20, 2012. Original here. (CC BY SA Flickr user mrlaugh) #
The annular solar eclipse is projected onto a white piece of cardboard during a viewing party at the Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan) #
Amaleah Barker wears a welding mask while viewing the annular eclipse over the southwestern town of Kanarraville, Utah, on May 20, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
A partial eclipse, behind a statue on Taiwan's northeastern coast in New Taipei city, on May 21, 2012. (Reuters/Tony Huang) #

Related links and information

Previous gallery | Next gallery | View All Back to top

Recent Entries

Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

blog comments powered by Disqus

On Newsstands Now

Subscribe and SAVE 65%
10 issues JUST $2.45/COPY

The Atlantic Monthly

Why successful women lack self-assurance—and men have too much, the end of desegregation, the odd life of a retired pope, the case for secrecy, the annual money report, and more