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

Muslim men perform a special ‘kusoof’ prayer as a live report of the annular solar eclipse is broadcasted on a large screen at a mosque in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. People along a swath of southern Asia gazed at the sky in marvel on Thursday at a “ring of fire” solar eclipse. (AP Photo)
A partial solar eclipse is seen from Jakarta, Indonesia Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
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, Dec. 26, 2019. People along a swath of southern Asia gazed at the sky in marvel on Thursday at a “ring of fire” solar eclipse. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
An annular solar eclipse is seen through a telescope in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, Thursday, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. People along a swath of southern Asia gazed at the sky in marvel on Thursday at a “ring of fire” solar eclipse. (AP Photo/Rifka Majjid)

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.

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.

“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.

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

The Associated Press

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