Rare ‘Christmas Eclipse’ Will Light Up Sky with ‘Ring of Fire’

In this handout provided by NASA, sun spots are seen as the moon moves into a full eclipse position after reaching annularity during the first annular eclipse seen in the U.S. since 1994 on May 20, 2012. Differing from a total solar eclipse, the moon in an annular eclipse appears …
JAXA/NASA/Hinode via Getty Images

A partial annular solar eclipse will illuminate the sky with a “ring of fire” during the day in the Eastern Hemisphere the day after Christmas.

An annular solar eclipse takes place when the moon is small in the sky and moves directly across the sun, but does not entirely cover it. Therefore, a “ring of fire” forms around the silhouette of the dark moon.

The natural phenomenon will be visible in Asia and the Middle East, including Oman, the UAE, southern India, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Guam, and Malaysia. This eclipse will not be visible from North America.

This annular solar eclipse is the last of its kind this year and will last for about 3 minutes and 40 seconds. It is dangerous to view an annular solar eclipse without wearing proper eye protection.

The next annular solar eclipses to be visible from the U.S. will occur on June 10, 2021, and on October 14, 2023, across Mexico, Brazil, Central America, and the western U.S.

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