Thebrought with it a stunning "ring of fire" the day after Christmas. Millions of people around the world marveled at the sight Thursday across parts of Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun, completely blocking the sun's light. During an annular solar eclipse like this one, the moon does not completely cover the sun as it passes, leaving a glowing ring of sunlight around it.
According to NASA, an annular eclipse can only occur under specific conditions. The moon must be a new moon, meaning it is in its first lunar phase. It must also be further away from Earth on its elliptical orbit, appearing smaller in the sky than it usually would — this is how a "ring of fire" or "ring of light" is formed.
Though this annular solar eclipse wasn't visible from North America, photographers elsewhere in the world captured breathtaking images of the event.