The Associated Press reports that Asian and U.S. citizens who had the opportunity of witnessing the solar eclipse on early Monday were amazed by its “ring of fire”. The phenomenon, which was visible on both sides of the Pacific, was very appreciated by the residents of California.
Californians were eagerly waiting for the annular solar eclipse ever since it was first announced at the beginning of last week. It started on early Monday in China and moved on towards the West, thus becoming visible in Taiwan and Japan. After a 13,600-kilometre (8,500-mile) arc, the eclipse ended its course in Texas where, according to the local time, it was Sunday evening.
Numerous parties and events have been organized in California for people to enjoy the spectacle offered by the Sun. Geoff Reid, from Santa Cruz took part in a so-called “viewing party” which was held on a terrace overlooking Los Angeles. He was very impressed by the “ring of fire” and he told reporters that the entire event was “awesome”. The climax of the solar eclipse was awaited with a New-Year’s Eve-style countdown and welcomed with lots of cheers and whoops.
Tourists and people who did not attend any of the solar eclipse-themed parties, gathered at Griffith Observatory near the famous Hollywood sign. Among them was British tourist Ian Hunter who decided to join the group of the sky-gazers even though he came in Los Angeles to visit Disneyland with his family.
Inhabitants of southeastern Asia were not as lucky as the rest of the solar eclipse watchers because their view was obstructed by clouds. Despite this, people in Hong Kong woke up early hoping they could catch a glimpse of the “ring of fire”. The majority of them were disappointed by the weather, but some claimed they managed to see a small portion of the eclipse.
Annular eclipses occur whenever the moon passes in front of the sun, but the distance between the moon and the Earth is too big, so the sun doesn’t get covered completely. The astronomical phenomenon can only be viewed with special glasses. The Griffith Observatory sold all their glasses two days before the event and they had to bring “solarama” shields to enable sky-gazers to get a clear view of the “ring of fire”.