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May 21, 2012
"Ring of Fire" - Annular Eclipse

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- From a park near Albuquerque, to the top of Japan's Mount Fuji, to the California coast the effect was dramatic: The moon nearly blotting out the sun creating a blazing "ring of fire" eclipse.

Millions of people across a narrow strip of eastern Asia and the Western U.S. turned their sights skyward for the annular eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges.

The rare lunar-solar alignment was visible in Asia early Monday before it moved across the Pacific -- and the international dateline -- where it was seen in parts of the western United States late Sunday afternoon.

People from Colorado, Oklahoma and as far away as Canada traveled to Albuquerque to enjoy one of the best vantage points at a park on the edge of the city.

(35 images)




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Hikers watch an annular eclipse from Papago Park in Phoenix on Sunday, May 20, 2012. The annular eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges, was visible to wide areas across China, Japan and elsewhere in the region before moving across the Pacific to be seen in parts of the western United States. The Arizona Republic / Michael Chow
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The annular solar eclipse appears in a composite image made from multiple photographs as the sun set near McCloud, Calif. on Sunday, May 20, 2012. RBenton@sacbee.com / Randall Benton
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The annular solar eclipse near McCloud, Calif. on Sunday, May 20, 2012. RBenton@sacbee.com / Randall Benton
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The new moon casts its shadow as it passes across the setting sun over West Mitten Butte during an annular eclipse, Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Monument Valley, Ariz. AP / Julie Jacobson
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A thundershower rolls through as an annular solar eclipse appears in Gardnerville, Nev., on Sunday, May 20, 2012. AP / Cathleen Allison
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An annular solar eclipse appears above a Ferris wheel in the sky over Yokohama near Tokyo Monday, May 21, 2012. AP / Koji Sasahara
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The new moon crosses in front of the sun creating an annular eclipse over West Mitten, left, and East Mitten buttes, Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Monument Valley, Ariz. AP / Julie Jacobson
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The sun sets between the grain elevators in Abbyville, Kan., during an annular eclipse Sunday, May 20, 2012. The Hutchinson News / Travis Morisse
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The annular solar eclipse is seen as the sun sets behind the Rocky Mountains from downtown Denver late on Sunday, May 20, 2012. AP / David Zalubowski
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An annular eclipse appears Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Amarillo, Texas. The Amarillo Globe News / Roberto Rodriguez
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An annular eclipse appears Sunday, May 20, 2012, north of Odessa, Texas. Odessa American / Albert Cesare
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A passenger jet flies above an annular solar eclipse Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Irving, Texas. AP / Tony Gutierrez
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An annular solar eclipse appears between aguaro cactus arms Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Phoenix. AP / Ross D. Franklin
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A partial solar eclipse descends in the sky behind crosses in an Ixonia, Wis. in a farm field Sunday, May 20, 2012. Wisconsin State Journal / John Hart
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The sun sets behind a barn and windmill on Sunday, May 20, 2012, southwest of Ellis, Kans, during a partial solar eclipse. The Hays Daily News / Steven Hausler
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In a Sunday, May 20, 2012 photo, Brendon Ladd of La Habra, Calif. leans over as daughter Mary Carson, 5, of Palm Springs, Calif. looks through a telescope during an eclipse viewing event held at The Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The Desert Sun / Crystal Chatham
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An annular solar eclipse is seen briefly during a break in clouds over Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, May 21, 2012. AP / Wally Santana
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The annular eclipse is seen through fog behind palm trees along Mission Bay in San Diego. ZUMA24.com / KC Alfred
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A partial annular solar eclipse is reflected in a pool of water in Beijing, China, Monday, May 21, 2012. AP / Ng Han Guan
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An annular solar eclipse rises over the horizon in Xiamen in southeastern China's Fujian province Monday May 21, 2012. Millions of Asians watched as a rare "ring of fire" eclipse crossed their skies early Monday. AP / CHINATOPIX
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A business man watches an annular solar eclipse at a waterfront park in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, May 21, 2012. AP / Shuji Kajiyama
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People watch the annular solar eclipse in Fujisawa, near Tokyo, Monday, May 21, 2012. AP / Shizuo Kambayashi
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Japanese school children use specially designed eye glasses to observe the annular solar eclipse in progress. ZUMA24.com / Natsuki Sakai
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Joseph Jeffries, 7, front, and his mom Betsy Jeffries, left, of Beaverton, Ore., look as the solar eclipse started Sunday evening May 20, 2012 in Portland, Ore. OMSI and Rose City Astronomers Club hosted an eclipse viewing party for the eclipse. The Oregonian / Faith Cathcart
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Children wear solar eclipse glasses to observe the annular solar eclipse at Sekiguchidaimachi Primary School in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, at 7:37 a.m. Monday, May 21, 2012. Yomiuri Shimbun /
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Allison Deyhle, 9, and her twin sister Emily joined hundreds of other people to watch the eclipse from the Redfield Campus Observatory in Reno, Nev. on May 20, 2012. It is the first eclipse in Reno since 1930. Reno Gazette Journal / Photo by Andy Barron
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Rebecca Harvey and Renis Harvey, of Yosemite, Calif., photograph the solar eclipse with a 600mm lens using a doubler through solar filter in Upper Bidwell Park at the Kiwanis Chico Community Observatory Sunday May 20, 2012 in Chico, Calif. The Chico Enterprise-Record / TyBarbour
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Gary Wilens, right, of Rancho Santa Margarita, cal;if., takes a photo of the solar eclipse through a special filter at the UC Irvine Observatory in Irvine, Calif. ,Sunday evening May 20, 2012. AP / Mark Rightmire,
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Nick Bremner, Aaron Bremner, and Joel Bremner, from Sonoma, Calif., take a look at the solar eclipse through homemade masks out of welding glass in Upper Bidwell Park at the Kiwanis Chico Community Observatory Sunday May 20, 2012 in Chico, Calif. The Chico Enterprise-Record / Ty Barbour
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People observe the solar eclipse, Sunday, May 20, 2012 in Chico, Calif. T The Chico Enterprise-Record / Ty Barbou
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People observe the solar eclipse Sunday, May 20, 2012 in Chico, Calif. The Chico Enterprise-Record / Ty Barbou
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Joel Zdepski uses binoculars to project the annular eclipse on a piece of paper at Monkey Face in Upper Bidwell Park, Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Chico, Calif. The Chico Enterprise-Record / Jason Halley
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Alan Macklem of Manitoba, Canada, looks at sunspots during the annular solar eclipse viewing party at the Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque, N.M. AP / Susan Montoya Bryan
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The annular solar eclipse is reflected onto a white piece of cardboard during a viewing party at the Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque, N.M., on Sunday, May 20, 2012. AP / Susan Montoya Bryan
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The eclipse is seen through binoculars which cast two images of the rarely seen ring of fire. People all around the world tried to catch a glimse of the bright object, Sunday, May 20, 2012. The Sacramento Bee / Randy Pench

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