Skywatchers from Qatar and Oman to India and Singapore were treated to a rare “ring of fire” solar eclipse on Thursday.
Annular eclipses occur when the moon is not close enough to the earth to completely obscure the sun, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible.
While these types of eclipses occur every year or two, they are only visible from a narrow band of earth each time and it can be decades before the same pattern is repeated.
Depending on weather conditions, this year’s astronomical phenomenon was set to be visible from the Middle East across southern India and Southeast Asia before ending over the northern Pacific.
The next annual eclipse in June 2020 will be visible to a narrow band from Africa to northern Asia.
The following one in June 2021 will only be seen in the Arctic and parts of Canada, Greenland and the eastern parts of Russia.