News World Skywatchers marvel at rare ‘ring of fire’ eclipse

Skywatchers marvel at rare ‘ring of fire’ eclipse

The sun shines amid the clouds as the moon partially covers it during the annular solar eclipse. Photo: AAP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

The world has marvelled at a rare solar eclipse that arrived on the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year.

A dramatic solar eclipse was viewed on Sunday by millions of skywatchers from across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The moon covered 99.4 per cent of the sun for less than a minute, causing a bright “ring of fire” to appear.

Locals wearing face masks try to get a glimpse of the solar eclipse through smartphones and an x-ray film in Amritsar, India. Photo: AAP

However, a partial solar eclipse – where the moon covered up to 84 per cent of the sun – was visible for just under six hours.

The event coincided with the summer solstice – when Earth’s North Pole is tilted most directly towards the Sun.

Re-watch the live stream

People risked permanently damaging their eyes if they watched the solar eclipse without protective gear.

“It’s a bit like switching from a 500-watt to a 30-watt light bulb,” Florent Delefie, an astronomer at the Paris Observatory, told AFP news agency.

“It’s a cold light, and you don’t see as well.”

Skywatchers will have to wait another year or two to catch the next solar eclipse.

Pictures from around the world

The partial solar eclipse is seen from Jilin, Jilin Province of China. Photo: Getty
The eclipse as seen from Gurugram, India. Photo: Getty
A partial solar eclipse as seen from Damascus, Syria. Photo: AAP
The eclipse as seen from Mumbai, India. Photo: Getty
The solar eclipse is partially seen in Lhokseumawe, Indonesia. Photo: Getty