On Thursday morning September 1, 2016, “a ring of fire” was drawn across Africa as the continent experienced a solar eclipse.
As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks (“occults”) the Sun, according to Wikipedia.
The eclipse cast a vast shadow over the continent of Africa across nearly 6,000km moving from the Canary Islands to South Africa, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Réunion Island.
According to Reuters, the event differs from a total solar eclipse in the sense that in an annular one – which means the Moon does not completely obscure the Sun as the Moon is farther away from us, making it appear smaller.
As a result, the Sun is not totally eclipsed, leaving a ‘ring of fire’ around the edges.
In Gabon, the eclipse began at 8:39 a.m. local time, and the burning ring reached its peak at 10:06 a.m.
The eclipse made its final landfall over Réunion at 2:09 p.m. local time.
The next solar eclipse will also be a ring of fire, and it will occur on February 26, 2017.
During that event, the moon’s shadow will cross eastern South America.
The next total solar eclipse will occur in August 2017, when the moon’s shadow will glide across a large part of the continental United States for the first time in 37 years.