Credit by DPA | Two women wear sunglasses outside Malaysia’s National Planetarium at an event held in preparation for the annular solar eclipse
‘Ring of fire’ Solar Eclipse Mesmerizes Crowds in Asia
NATURE Beyond

‘Ring of fire’ Solar Eclipse Mesmerizes Crowds in Asia

Sky watchers in Southeast Asia were in for a treat on Thursday, as a rare annular solar eclipse struck the region, South China Morning Post reported.

The phenomenon – which occurs when a New Moon is furthest from the Earth on its elliptical orbit, creating a “ring of fire” as it partially eclipses the sun – was visible from the Middle East across southern India and Southeast Asia before ending over the northern Pacific.

Image: BBC
Image: BBC

Observers in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka and India’s Tamil Nadu state, were some of the first in Asia to witness the event, with the maximum eclipse occurring there for about three minutes shortly after 9.30am local time.

As reported by Science Alert, in Indonesia, hundreds of people gathered outside Jakarta Planetarium to watch the event using protective glasses supplied by the planetarium, hoping for clear skies at the time of maximum eclipse.

Composite image shows the solar eclipse as seen from Tanjung Piai in Malaysia. Image: Sadiq Asyraf/AFP
Composite image shows the solar eclipse as seen from Tanjung Piai in Malaysia. Image: Sadiq Asyraf/AFP

"I could see the eclipse this morning and now am very excited to see the peak though now it is cloudy," said Chandra Ayu Dewi, 39, who arrived at 7:00 am with her children.

The solar eclipse as seen from Balut Island, Mindanao, The Philippines. Image: Ferdinandh Cabrera/AFP
The solar eclipse as seen from Balut Island, Mindanao, The Philippines. Image: Ferdinandh Cabrera/AFP

Outside the narrow band where the 'ring of fire' effect can be observed, skywatchers would see a partial solar eclipse.

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