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PHOTOS: 'Ring of fire' solar eclipse

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This combination shot shows the progress of the annular solar eclipse over Tokyo, Japan.

Credit:

KAZUHIRO NOGI

In this type of eclipse, the moon passes in front of the sun but doesn't block it entirely, leaving a glowing "ring of fire" around its outer edge.

Sky watchers all over the eclipse's path gathered to enjoy the rare sight. It's the first time an annular solar eclipse has been visible from the US since 1994.

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    This combination shot shows the progress of the annular solar eclipse over Tokyo, Japan.

    Credit:

    KAZUHIRO NOGI

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    This type of solar eclipse is rare because the moon only partially covers the sun, leaving a glowing "ring of fire" around its outer edge. Here's the view from the Pueblo Bonito ancient building at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in Nageezi, Arizona.

    Credit:

    Stan Honda

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    This multi-exposure picture shows the view from Utsunomiya city in Tochigi prefecture, 100km north of Tokyo.

    Credit:

    JIJI PRESS

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    A crowd gathers to watch the eclipse in Osaka, western Japan. It was the first time in more than 900 years that an annular solar eclipse was visible from Japanese soil.

    Credit:

    JIJI PRESS

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    It can be dangerous to look at an eclipse directly. These people in Gunma prefecture, north of Tokyo, viewed the sight through a telescope reflection.

    Credit:

    JIJI PRESS

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    Others used special sunglasses to protect their eyes, like this dog in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan.

    Credit:

    STR/JIJI PRESS

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    In the coastal town of Gumaca, southeast of Manila in the Philippines, the solar eclipse occurred during sunrise.

    Credit:

    TED ALJIBE

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    In the US, meanwhile, the eclipse was seen at sunset. Here it is over the Grand Canyon, in Arizona.

    Credit:

    David McNew

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    Sky watchers gather in Kanarraville, Utah, to watch the first annular eclipse visible from the US since 1994. The town enjoyed one of the best views of the event, and invited visitors to come and share it at a special eclipse party.

    Credit:

    ROBYN BECK

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    This combination of photos shows the different stages of the eclipse as seen from Kanarraville, Utah. The "ring of fire" was visible only from parts of the western and central United States, since the sun had already set on the East Coast.

    Credit:

    ROBYN BECK

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    The "ring of fire" seen from Tokyo. The next annular eclipse is due to occur on May 10, 2013, while the next partial solar eclipse visible in the western US is due on Oct. 23, 2014.

    Credit:

    KAZUHIRO NOGI