Solar eclipse creates ‘ring of fire’ treat for stargazers

21 May 2012

Solar eclipse captured in Texas on Sunday. Jimmy and Linda Westlake captured this image from a point about 20 miles west of Sundown, Texas at 8.42pm CDT on Sunday. Image credit: / Jimmy and Linda Westl

Millions of stargazers in eastern Asia, the north Pacific and in western US states had a cosmic treat on Sunday as a result of the annual eclipse of the sun.

The astronomical event happened because the moon’s orbit was at the furthest distance from Earth. This meant that it blocked the smallest portion of the sun and left a large bright ring of fire around the outside for the briefest of seconds.

NASA had predicted that it would be the first annular eclipse visible from the 48 states on the continent of North America in almost 18 years.
The next solar eclipse will be the total solar eclipse on 13 November 2012.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic