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Watch now: 'Ring of fire' solar eclipse lights up the sky
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Watch now: 'Ring of fire' solar eclipse lights up the sky

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People in the Northern Hemisphere were able to watch as the moon partially blocked out the sun to create a "ring of fire" solar eclipse. CNN's Allison Chinchar has more.

A "ring of fire" solar eclipse appeared in the sky Thursday as the moon partially blocked out the sun.

It was visible in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and people around the world captured the celestial show -- the first of two solar eclipses this year -- with some stunning images.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon crosses between the sun and the Earth, which blocks a portion of the sun's rays, according to NASA.

This eclipse is an annular eclipse, meaning the moon is far enough away from the Earth that it appears smaller than the sun.

When the moon crosses paths with the fiery star, it will look smaller than the sun, leaving room for bright light to glow around the edges. This is called "the ring of fire" and was expected to be visible to some people in Greenland, northern Russia and Canada, NASA said.

Other countries in the Northern Hemisphere, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, were able to see a partial eclipse, which is where the moon only covers a portion of the sun. A fingernail-shaped shadow covered a different percentage of the sun, depending on your location.

The eclipse began its sweep in Canada north of the Great Lakes, crossed northeastern Canada into the Arctic Ocean, passed over the North Pole, and was ended in northeastern Siberia, according to the UK's Royal Astronomical Society. The partial eclipse was expected to be visible until about 9:11 a.m. ET.

The name "annular" comes from the Latin word "annulus," which means ring-shaped, according to Farmers' Almanac.

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