If you looked up into the sky last night, you may have witnessed an annular solar eclipse, when the moon does not completely block the sun, but leaves a fiery ring around its circumference. Also known as the Ring of Fire, it was visible from only certain parts of the world – the Chinese coast, northern Taiwan, the south of Japan, and the western United States. For American skywatchers this was particularly signifiant since it marked the first time in 18 years that an annular solar eclipse could be seen from the United States!
Of course, photographers came out in full force looking to document this momentous event. Here, then, are our picks for the most spectacular solar eclipse photos taken in 2012 which includes some magnificent composite shots at the end.
First photo credit: AP/Michael Chow
Machida, on the outskirts of Tokyo