It’s not often that the moon and sun cross paths during the Earth’s orbit, but on Sunday skywatchers from the Pacific to the Atlantic were set to get an eyeful of a solar event during the Ring of Fire eclipse. During the annual eclipse, a sliver of the sun was scheduled to be visible around the moon, creating what Space.com called a "penny-on-nickel effect."
Depending on where spectators are watching, it could appear as if the moon is blocking the early morning sun on Sunday, and for a brief moment, a ring of fire will seem to be surrounding the moon — hence the eclipse’s name. Although millions of people were supposed to be able to see the event by just going outside, the eclipse was predicted to be predominately be visible in regions of South America and Africa. The eclipse path was due to be most visible through Argentina, Angola, Chile, parts of the Congo and Zambia, the Washington Post reported.
The “greatest duration” of the eclipse was scheduled to occur at 8:16 a.m. EST, during which the ring of fire was expected to be visible passing west of Chile in the South Pacific Ocean for about two minutes. However, the “greatest eclipse” moment — when the moon covers 99.2 percent of the sun’s diameter and is the closest to the Earth’s center — wasn't set to happen until 9:54 a.m. EST. That was forecast to only last for about 44 seconds.
Despite the high chances of being able to witness the eclipse, people lucky enough to be in the southern hemisphere during the time of the solar event weren't advised to watch the ring of fire event by looking directly at the sun. Spectators were urged to view the eclipse with binoculars or telescopes that have proper solar filtration.
Although people living in the U.S. won’t get to watch the ring of fire eclipse firsthand, viewers can still tune into the event Sunday morning via this live stream from Slooh.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.