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In pictures: 'Ring of fire' eclipse enthrals skywatchers in Middle East, Asia

Updated : December 27, 2019 07:48 AM IST

Thousands of skywatchers gathered across parts of the Middle East and Asia on Thursday to glimpse the sun forming a ring of fire around the moon in a rare annular solar eclipse. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon covers the sun's centre but leaves its outer edges visible to form a ring. Thursday's was visible in Saudi Arabia as well as Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. In most years, two solar eclipses are visible from somewhere on Earth. The maximum number is five.

Thursday's was visible in Saudi Arabia as well as Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. (Graphic: Reuters)
Thursday's was visible in Saudi Arabia as well as Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. (Graphic: Reuters)
A combination of photos depicts an annular solar eclipse observed with the use of a solar filter in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A combination of photos depicts an annular solar eclipse observed with the use of a solar filter in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
People observe the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
People observe the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A muslim woman wearing hijab observes the annular solar eclipse before taking part in a mass prayer in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A muslim woman wearing hijab observes the annular solar eclipse before taking part in a mass prayer in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman poses for photos behind a banner depicting the solar eclipse during the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman poses for photos behind a banner depicting the solar eclipse during the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A girl wearing special protective glasses reacts as she observes the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A girl wearing special protective glasses reacts as she observes the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A vendor raises protective glasses for the solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A vendor raises protective glasses for the solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
People queue for free special protective glasses for solar eclipse, given by local government, during the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
People queue for free special protective glasses for solar eclipse, given by local government, during the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A partial solar eclipse is pictured along Clifton beach in Karachi, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro.
A partial solar eclipse is pictured along Clifton beach in Karachi, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro.
Men hold their palms as they attend the special prayers during a solar eclipse in Peshawar, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
Men hold their palms as they attend the special prayers during a solar eclipse in Peshawar, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
A man uses a pair of welder glasses to observe a solar eclipse in Peshawar, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
A man uses a pair of welder glasses to observe a solar eclipse in Peshawar, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
A man uses a welding helmet as he observes a solar eclipse in Peshawar, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
A man uses a welding helmet as he observes a solar eclipse in Peshawar, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
A Saudi man talks on his mobile phone as he monitors the annular solar eclipse on Jabal Arba (Four Mountains) in Hofuf, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
A Saudi man talks on his mobile phone as he monitors the annular solar eclipse on Jabal Arba (Four Mountains) in Hofuf, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
A general view of a mosque with a partial solar eclipse in the background in Lahore, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
A general view of a mosque with a partial solar eclipse in the background in Lahore, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
People use x-ray sheets as they observe the solar eclipse in Peshawar, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
People use x-ray sheets as they observe the solar eclipse in Peshawar, Pakistan December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
Muslim men perform mass prayers to mark the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Muslim men perform mass prayers to mark the annular solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman uses her mobile phone and solar viewers to take photographs of the annular solar eclipse in Ahmedabad, India, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave
A woman uses her mobile phone and solar viewers to take photographs of the annular solar eclipse in Ahmedabad, India, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave
Boys use solar viewers to watch the annular solar eclipse in Cheruvathur town in the southern state of Kerala, India, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sivaram V
Boys use solar viewers to watch the annular solar eclipse in Cheruvathur town in the southern state of Kerala, India, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sivaram V
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is silhouetted during partial solar eclipse in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is silhouetted during partial solar eclipse in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar
A kite flies during the annual solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A kite flies during the annual solar eclipse in Siak, Riau province, Indonesia, December 26, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Women wearing special protective glasses observe the annular solar eclipse at a mosque in Gowa, South Sulawesi, Indonesia December 26, 2019, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Abriawan Abhe/via REUTERS
Women wearing special protective glasses observe the annular solar eclipse at a mosque in Gowa, South Sulawesi, Indonesia December 26, 2019, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Abriawan Abhe/via REUTERS
Published : December 27, 2019 07:48 AM IST
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