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.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 6/27-7/3

    A European heat wave, lightning over California, a building made of 8,500 beer bottles, shrimp fishing on horseback in Belgium, the first-ever White House Campout, mine detection rats in Cambodia, and much more.

  • Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty

    All-Request Photos: Sharks, Intoxication, Guacamole, Soccer, Scalia...

    Reader requested images, including playful raccoons, Soviet armies leaving Lithuania in the 1990s, Donald Trump’s hair, a Fennec fox, and much more.

  • Lewis Hine / Library of Congress

    Child Labor in America 100 Years Ago

    In 1908, photographer Lewis Hine traveled across the U.S. to document child laborers and their workplaces. His portraits were used by reformers to drive legislation that would protect young workers or prohibit their employment.

  • Noah Berger / Reuters

    Tinder Dry: An Early Start to Wildfire Season in the West

    Wildfires have already burned more than 1.6 million acres in Alaska this season, and blazes in Washington, Oregon, and bone-dry California have scorched thousands more.

Join the Discussion