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Ring of fire: Rare eclipse sparks craze

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ring of fire: Rare eclipse sparks craze

Witnessing a total solar eclipse is considered one of the planet’s most spectacular sights, but many who’ve seen both say that a ring-of-fire eclipse is just as dramatic. Hundreds of millions across the world will get a chance to see one on May 20.

­Both types of eclipses happen when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out sunlight. A total eclipse occurs when the Moon is close enough to our planet to totally obscure the Sun. Meanwhile a ring-of-fire, or annular eclipse, appears when the Moon is further away and does not prevent all sunlight from getting through.

During an annular eclipse, as the Moon aligns with the Sun, it appears as if there is a black hole in the middle of a burning disc – its name comes from annulus, which means “ring” in Latin..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/ring-of-fire-eclipse-497/

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