Social Media Ablaze with Photos after Rare 'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse Spotted in India

Buzz Staff

Even as the world waited with bated breath for the annular solar eclipse on Sunday evening, citizens in India, China, Western Africa, and parts of the Arabian peninsula got to witness a dramatic ring-of fire during the eclipse.

In what came as a thrill to skywatchers, the annual solar eclipse today formed a ring of fire around the sun as the moon impartially eclipsed it.

Annual eclipses occur when the moon comes between the sun and Earth, this blocking out the light of the moon. If the moon is not close enough to Earth, however, the natural satellite fails to completely obscure sunlight, resulting in a slivery glowing ring to appear as an outline to the otherwise darkened sun.

Though a regularly occurring phenomenon, the ring of fire occurs every one or two years, as per a report in Physics.org and is only visible from a narrow strip of land.

This was not the only unusual feature of Sunday's annular eclipse. The occurrence coincides with the summer solstice, which also falls on June 21, signifying the longest day of Summer this year.

The "ring of fire" eclipse was visible first from the Republic of Congo just a few minutes post sunrise at 5:56 am local time (04:56 GMT). This signified the point of maximum duration and the ensuing "blackout" lasted for a minute and 22 seconds.

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Parts of India also witnessed the annular 'ring of fire' solar eclipse today between 10:19 am and 2:02 pm. The sun appeared like a ring of fire during the eclipse today and was seen from several places including Bengaluru, New Delhi and Kurukshetra.

Social media was filled with images of the annual eclipse as excited netizens shared photos of the partial eclipse seen in several parts of the country. News agency ANI shared images of the partial eclipse from several states across India.

Netizens also shared images of the eclipse that they had shot through pin-hole cameras or other equipment.

In India, the point of maximum duration was at 12.10 pm local time (6.40 GMT) over the state of Uttarkhand close to the Sino-India border.