Today is the big day…for the annular eclipse that is. It “starts in China at local sunrise on May 21; the path of the moon’s shadow then goes over Japan around 7:35 a.m., local time, and races across the Pacific Ocean.” Continue reading to see a few beautiful pictures of the “ring of fire”.

Like a total solar eclipse, an annular eclipse happens when the moon lines up between Earth and the sun. But in this case, the dark moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the visible disk of the sun, leaving a ring – or annulus – of fiery light around the edges. During such an eclipse, “the path of annularity, where the full eclipse will be visible, is hundreds of miles wide and thousands of miles long,” said eclipse expert Jay Pasachoff, the Field Memorial Professor at Williams College in Massachusetts.

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