Thousands in Asia marvel at ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse

Associated Press

Banda Aceh, Indonesia – People along a swath of southern Asia gazed at the sky in marvel on Thursday at a “ring of fire” solar eclipse.

The so-called annular eclipse, in which a thin outer ring of the sun is still visible, could be seen along a path stretching from India and Pakistan to Thailand and Indonesia.

An annular solar eclipse is seen though safety glass from Siak, Riau province, Indonesia on Thursday.

Authorities in Indonesia provided telescopes and hundreds of special glasses to protect viewers’ eyes. Thousands of people gazed at the sky and cheered and clapped as the sun transformed into a dark orb for more than two minutes, briefly plunging the sky into darkness. Hundreds of others prayed at nearby mosques.

A kid looks up at the sun wearing protective glasses to watch a solar eclipse from Jakarta, Indonesia on  Thursday.

“How amazing to see the ring of fire when the sun disappeared slowly,” said Firman Syahrizal, a resident of Sinabang in Indonesia’s Banda Aceh province who witnessed the eclipse with his family.

Birds fly past a partial solar eclipse in Hyderabad, India, on Thursday.

The previous annular solar eclipse in February 2017 was also visible over a slice of Indonesia.

Muslim women watch a solar eclipse through special glasses at the campus of the Faculty of Astronomy of Muhammadiah University of North Sumatra (UMSU) in Medan, Indonesia, Thursday,