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According to NASA, the eclipse or ring of fire was visible on parts of the southern hemisphere including Chile, Argentina and Angola.
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Did you miss February's Ring of Fire eclipse? Watch it here!


Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 11:11 AM - The Sun and the Moon combined on Sunday to cast the lunar shadow across the southern hemisphere, in a beautiful 'Ring of Fire' solar eclipse. Did you see it? Did you miss it? You can watch it (again), below!

February 26 marks the first of two solar eclipses in 2017.

While on August 21 the United States and Canada will see the effects of a total solar eclipse, Sunday's was an annular solar eclipse, also known as a "Ring of Fire" eclipse.

The difference between these - with the Moon completely covering the Sun during the total eclipse and a thin ring of Sun being visible around the Moon during the annular eclipse - is due to the distance the Moon is from the Earth. For an annular eclipse, the Moon is farther away than average, so it does not appear large enough to cover the entire disk of the Sun.


The May 20, 2012 annular solar eclipse, taken from Nevada by Wikimedia user Smrgeog

The above picture is an excellent example of this kind of eclipse, but it won't look quite like this on Sunday morning. On May 20, 2012, the Moon was very close to "apogee" - the farthest point from Earth in its 28-day orbit - at 406,210 km away. That distance would qualify it as a "mini-Moon" eclipse (the opposite of a "super Moon"). On the morning of February 26, 2017, the Moon was 378,684 km away, just 7,500 km farther away than it will be on August 21, when it will completely cover the Sun to produce a total solar eclipse.

So, Sunday's eclipse was an extremely thin ring of the Sun around the Moon's disk!

This eclipse wasn't witnessed, personally, by anyone in Canada or the United States, however, as the Moon's shadow first fell on the Earth starting in Chile and Argentina, and then crossed the south Atlantic and finally slipped off the edge of the Earth after passing over southern Africa, as shown on the map, below.


Credit: Fred Espenak/NASA

Anyone who did witness this, first-hand, ought to have had some kind of eye protection though.

While there is a brief time during a total solar eclipse when it is safe to look directly at the Sun (right at totality, when the Moon completely blocks out the Sun), and you have to be VERY good with your timing to avoid trouble, there is NO TIME during an annular solar eclipse when it is safe to look directly at the Sun.

All witnesses of a partial eclipse, annular eclipse or any partial period of a total eclipse should be wearing eye protection.


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Watch live, from anywhere!

Those of us without a direct view were still able watch this annular eclipse (very safely), right from our computer screens.

From 7 a.m. EST to 11 a.m. EST, on Sunday, February 26, the Slooh Community Observatory hosted a live-stream of the event.

Watch the entire eclipse in less than 4 minutes, via the embedded video below:

According to Slooh:

During the broadcast, Slooh host Gerard Monteux will guide viewers on this journey across multiple continents and thousands of miles. Over the course of the show, he’ll be joined by a number of guests who will help viewers explore not only the science of eclipses, but also the fascinating legend, myth, and spiritual and emotional expression associated with these most awe inspiring celestial events.

Watch a replay of the event above, or you can go to Slooh.com to share your own photos during the event, chat with audience members and interact with the hosts, and personally control Slooh’s telescopes.

A view of the Ring of Fire

Slooh captured this incredible image of totality from Chile this morning, showing off the Moon covering up roughly 98 per cent of the Sun's disk:

Sources: NASA | Slooh

Watch Below: A Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse, across the Southern Hemisphere - Science @ NASA

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