(NEXSTAR) — Skywatchers were treated to a “ring of fire” solar eclipse on Thursday, but their location determined how much of it they get to see.
Parts of Canada, Greenland, the Arctic Ocean, and Siberia had a complete view of the narrow path of the year’s first solar eclipse, according to NASA. It was a partial eclipse for much of the rest of northeastern North America, Greenland, Northern Europe, and northern Asia.
A partial eclipse was visible over lake Michigan near Manistique.
The eclipse was visible Thursday morning, when the new moon occurred.
Unlike a total solar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun, causing the sun to be completely blocked, this eclipse is annular, which only occurs when the moon is in its first phase.
The new moon was farther from Earth in its elliptical orbit and appeared smaller — too small to cover the sun completely. As a result, a bright ring of sunlight surrounds the moon’s silhouette at mid-eclipse. That bright outer rim is known as the “ring of fire.”
“As the pair rises higher in the sky, the silhouette of the Moon will gradually shift off the sun to the lower left, allowing more of the sun to show until the eclipse ends,” NASA said.
None of the U.S. saw the full annular eclipse, which lasted about an hour and 40 minutes.
How to watch
“From the Washington, D.C. area, the moon will be blocking about 80% of the left side of the sun as they rise together in the east-northeast at 5:42 a.m., causing the sun to appear as a crescent,” NASA said.
If you can’t watch in person, a livestream will be available on timeanddate.com.
This was the first of two solar eclipses in 2021, with a total solar eclipse to occur on Dec. 4.