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"Ring of fire" solar eclipse captured in stunning photos from around the world

Crowds gather to view "ring of fire" eclipse
Crowds gather to view "ring of fire" eclipse 00:25

The last solar eclipse of the decade brought 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. 

Malaysia 

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This composite image shows the moon as it moves in front of the sun in a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse as seen from Tanjung Piai in Malaysia on December 26, 2019. SADIQ ASYRAF / AFP / Getty Images


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The moon moves in front of the sun in a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse as seen from Tanjung Piai, Malaysia on December 26, 2019. SADIQ ASYRAF / AFP / Getty Images

Pakistan 

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The moon covers the sun during a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse as seen from Karachi on December 26, 2019. RIZWAN TABASSUM / AFP / Getty Images


Philippines 

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The moon moves in front of the sun in a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse as seen from Balut Island, Saraggani province in the southern island of Mindanao on December 26, 2019.  FERDINANDH CABRERA / AFP / Getty Images


India 

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Students and teachers use solar filter glasses to look at the solar eclipse at Gujarat Science City on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on December 26, 2019. SAM PANTHAKY / AFP / Getty Images


Myanmar

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The surface of the sun is seen as the moon moves in front of it in a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse, as seen from Wan Twin in central Myanmar on December 26, 2019.  YE AUNG THU / AFP / Getty Images


Pakistan 

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The moon begins to cover the sun during a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse, while an eagle flies past, at Badshahi mosque in Lahore on December 26, 2019. ARIF ALI / AFP / Getty Images


Iraq 

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This picture taken early on December 26, 2019 shows a view of the sun in the central Iraqi holy shrine city of Najaf during the partial solar eclipse event.  HAIDAR HAMDANI / AFP / Getty Images


Kuwait 

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This picture taken early on December 26, 2019 shows seagulls flying above a beach in Kuwait City during the solar eclipse. YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP / Getty Images


More photos from around the world

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