Ring of Fire Eclipse Graces African Skies
A spectacular “ring of fire” could be seen on the African sky as the sun was almost – but not completely – eclipsed.
An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farther away from the Earth than during a total eclipse.
The best views were seen in Tanzania, where the event lasted about 3 minutes.
The “ring of fire” eclipse could also be viewed in parts of Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, and the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.
The moon does not move in a perfect circle around the earth – instead, its orbit is slightly elliptical. That means the distance of the moon varies between around 225,000-252,000 miles.
When the moon is farther away from the earth, it appears smaller – and does not totally cover the sun’s disc during a total eclipse. The result is also known as a “ring of fire” eclipse.
The next eclipse is due to take place in February 2017, and can be seen from parts of South America and Africa.