Along the west coast of the United States Sunday the Annular Eclipse could be seen, a beautiful sight of the moon cutting through the sunlight's path and creating a "ring of fire" of a sun-lit outline of the moon. Here are some pictures from various sources:
Courtesy: Associated Press (AP)
Courtesy: Twitter handle @deepvoodoo
This eclipse was called the Annular Eclipse, meaning the moon moving through the sun's path creates a 'ring of fire' around the eclipse. The eclipse began, technically, on Monday in China (west of the Int'l Dateline). There are so many great pictures and time lapse videos from that area of the world. The eclipse then moved east at about 2,000 miles per hour! It crossed the Pacific Ocean and could start to be seen on the west coast at about 6 p.m. PDT, or 9 o'clock our time. As the day continued (Sunday now east of the time line) it could be seen in California, Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, etc. Once the sun set though, it couldn't be seen any longer. That's why we missed it here on the east coast.
This wonderful picture courtesy Reuters, Nasa, and Kinyen Pong shows what happened Sunday. The moon orbited between the sun and the earth at just the right distance to create a thin outline of the sun that could still be visible. According to NASA the next time this will happen will be 2023, so you could call it a once-in-a-while occasion.
The best viewing area of this eclipse was only about 150 miles wide, so outside the path many of the pictures show a glancing blow of the eclipse, and not a total ring. See the diagram above for more regarding the latitude-based viewing area. I'm sad I didn't get to see it, but I'm glad for all of the pictures on-line!
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier