(NEXSTAR) — Skywatchers were treated to a “ring of fire” solar eclipse on Thursday, and the images are spectacular.
The eclipse was visible Thursday morning, when a new moon occurred.
Parts of Canada, Greenland, the Arctic Ocean, and Siberia had a complete view of the narrow path of this year’s first solar eclipse, according to NASA. It was a partial eclipse for much of the rest of northeastern North America, Greenland, Northern Europe, and northern Asia.
Unlike a total solar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun, causing the sun to be completely blocked, this eclipse was annular, which only occurs when the moon is in its first phase.
The new moon is farther from Earth in its elliptical orbit and appears smaller — too small to cover the sun completely. As a result, a bright ring of sunlight surrounded the moon’s silhouette at mid-eclipse. That bright outer rim is known as the “ring of fire.”
None of the U.S. saw the full annular eclipse, which lasted about an hour and 40 minutes.
This was the first of two solar eclipses in 2021, with a total solar eclipse to occur on Dec. 4.