A RARE solar eclipse darkened skies across the world over the weekend.
The stunning sight could be witnessed in parts of West Africa, South Asia, southern China, Taiwan and the Arabian Peninsula.
The ‘ring of fire’ stage could only be seen briefly[/caption]
It’s called a ‘ring of fire’ eclipse because of the fiery glow that appears around the edges of the Moon.
It occurs every one to two years and is known as an annular eclipse.
The Moon moves in front of the Sun, but doesn’t totally block it.
It means the centre of our nearest star is blocked out, but the edges are still visible – creating a ‘ring of fire’ in the sky.
Solar eclipse seen in Guangzhou, China[/caption]
This shot was captured in Egypt[/caption]
This bright orange ring is known as an annulus, hence the name, annular solar eclipse.
The visible beginning and aftermath of the eclipse lasted around six hours but the actual ‘ring of fire’ could only be seen for a few minutes.
Unfortunately, the rare event was not visible over the UK or the US but lots of stunning photos were taken in other countries.
The eclipse began above the Republic of Congo just after sunrise at around 05:56 local time.
The US and the UK could not witness the eclipse[/caption]
The Moon slowly moved in front of the Sun[/caption]
The eclipse made this fairground look spooky[/caption]
This crow could enjoy the view in Nairobi, Kenya[/caption]
People had to wear protection because you must never look directly at the Sun[/caption]
When is the next solar eclipse?
Solar eclipses are fairly common, with between two and five happening every year. A total eclipse happens around once every 18 months.
The next eclipse is a total solar eclipse, which takes place on December 14, 2020.
The next Ring of Fire eclipse will appear on June 10, 2021, with the one after that taking place in 2023.
What is a solar eclipse?
Here's what you need to know…
- A solar eclipse is a rare natural phenomenon that darkens the sky
- It happens when you’re in the shadow cast by the Moon, which is fully blocking the Sun
- This only happens when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned on a straight line
- A total eclipse is when the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon
- Total solar eclipses will occur somewhere on Earth approximately every 18 months
- Eclipses were considered ominous by ancient cultures, because the Sun disappears during the day in minutes
- However, solar eclipses are now a very popular spectacle that can attract tourists
- It’s important to not look directly at the Sun during a solar eclipse, as it can lead to permanent eye damage, and even blindness
- It’s recommended that people use special eye protection, or watch the event on screens instead
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Have you ever seen a solar eclipse? Let us know in the comments…
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